Feb. 17, 2007
DENVER, Colo. - The Northern Illinois gymnastics team put together its top overall performance of the season Saturday, establishing team and individual season highs on multiple events while falling to ninth-ranked Denver at Hamilton Gymnasium, 197.000-193.525.
The Huskies' team score of 193.525 was easily a season-best, nearly one point higher than the 192.550 NIU recorded a week ago. Northern Illinois put together its best team totals of the season on the uneven parallel bars (48.800), balance beam (48.875) and floor exercise (48.600).
"A 193.525 definitely helps our cause," said NIU Head Coach Mark Sontag. "This performance leaves us on a high note. To fly halfway across the country, in the thin air and against the No. 9 team in the country and hit our routines like we did tonight gives us a great sense of confidence going forward. It's another indication that we're on the right track."
NIU's score was a team effort; the Huskies did not count a score lower than 9.675 on either bars or floor, while its lowest score on beam was 9.700. Sophomore Leah Johnson took second place in the all-around with a season-best score of 38.900 after turning in a 9.700 on vault, 9.675 on floor, 9.750 on bars and 9.775 on beam.
"Leah going 38.9 is an excellent road score for her," Sontag said. "She really put it all together today with every event at 9.675 and above. 38.9 is a huge score, a big-time all-around score."
Northern Illinois sophomore Jennifer Naughton recorded the team's highest individual event score of the day Saturday, tying her career high with a 9.875 on beam to tie for second place. Junior Jennifer Rice finished right behind her with a 9.825 on beam to tie for fourth. Naughton also led the Huskie contingent on the floor exercise with a season-best 9.800 to tie for fifth place. Senior Jody Yednock posted a season-best 9.8750 on the bars to tie for third and lead NIU on that event, with Tiffany Anderson coming in fifth on bars with a career-best 9.800.
debuted a new triple series on beam," Sontag said. "It's a risky maneuver; she unleashed it today and she nailed it. Jody [Yednock] just rocked bars. Her routine was really clean and tight; she looked great. Bars and beam really carried the day for us."
With the loss, Northern Illinois' dual meet record falls to 4-4 on the season. NIU is next in action next Friday versus Mid-American Conference foe Ball State in Muncie, Ind.
-- NIU --