April 10, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Northern Illinois sophomore Ashley Guerra (made her NCAA Regional debut Saturday night as an individual participant on uneven parallel bars in Columbia, Mo., earning a score of 9.000, but more importantly, invaluable experience to take into her next two seasons at NIU.
"I am just so proud of her that she made it here with this level of gymnastics," said NIU Head Coach Mark Sontag. "It's so hard [to be here as an individual]. There's a lot of hoopla. Georgia has won the last five national championships, they were here and came in third. It's quite an intimidating environment.
"After being here, Ashley sees what it takes to be one of the programs here. She can take a spot now and be one of our team leaders. Our goal is to get the team here next year so we'll have one more voice saying it's doable."
Guerra was the only individual participant to compete solely on uneven parallel bars at the Columbia Regional and performed her routine at the end of the first rotation of the evening at the Hearnes Center. Unfortunately, she missed on her release move, dropping her score.
"Ashley is disappointed things didn't go as planned tonight, but I'm proud of her, she put together a great season and she's been a really, really productive bars swinger and beam worker for us this year."
She was named the 2010 MAC Specialist of the Year by league coaches for her work on bars and balance beam with season best scores of 9.825 and 9.775, respectively.
Guerra's appearance at NCAA Regionals concludes the 2010 Northern Illinois gymnastics season. NIU has been represented at regionals in 10 of the last 11 years and in each of the last four seasons.
-- NIU -
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