NIU Student-Athletes held their 2016 awards Monday night, May 2nd, at the Egyptian Theater in DeKalb.
NIU Career Bests:Bars - 9.825 (at MAC Championships, 3-21-15) 2015: Competed in all 12 events this season on the uneven parallel bars. Set a career-high, 9.825 at the MAC Championships (3-21). Tied her previous career best at the IGI Chicago Style Meet (2-13) against Yale and Iowa State with a 9.800. In the season opener at UIC (1-9), she posted her best result finishing tied for first with a 9.775. She replicated that score at Central Michigan (2-15) and against Eastern Michigan (3-15) to finish fourth in both meets. Chalked up two second-place finishes against Kent State (1-16) and Lindenwood (1-23). She also scored a 9.750 against Bowling Green and Alaska (2-15) tying for fourth.
2014: Competed in all 11 meets averaging 9.641 on the uneven parallel bars. Achieved a season best 9.775 twice the first time at the State of Illinois Classic (2-21) and again at Arizona State (3-14). Finished in fifth on the bars at Bowling Green (2-23), where she scored a 9.675, and at Arizona State. Scored a 9.750 in the bars at the MAC Championships (3-22).
2013: Competed in all 11 meets on uneven parallel bars as a freshman. Earned her career high of 9.800 against MAC foe Western Michigan (3-10) where she finished fifth. Took third at Ball State (1-25) with a 9.700 on bars. Fourth at Central Michigan (2-8) with a 9.775. Completed her freshman season averaging a 9.625 on the event with five top five finishes and five scores over 9.700.
Prep: Trained at United Gymnastics Academy in Frankfort, Ill. with three years as USAG Level 10 competitor. Advanced to Region 5 Championships three times, tying for second on uneven parallel bars with a 9.425 in 2012 for her top finish. Scored a career best 9.600 on bars at the 2011 Illinois State Meet to take third place and was sixth in the all-around with a 37.150, also a career high. Won the bars event at the 2012 Gasparilla Classic and the 2012 Bravo Classic with scores of 9.500. Also tallied a 35.675 in the all-around at Gasparilla Meet for fourth place. Earned a 36.250 all-around score at the 2012 Illinois State Meet to place 10th. Placed fourth in the all-around, third on uneven parallel bars and sixth on balance beam at GymQuarters Invitational in 2011.
Personal: Born Oct. 19, 1993 in Kankakee, Ill. to parents Caryn and James Africano. Was an honor roll student in high school. Won 2007 Slate Games of America competition. Admires former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson.