April 15, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. - In her first appearance in an NCAA Gymnastics Regional, Northern Illinois sophomore Leah Johnson put together four solid events to take 14th place in the all-around competition at the 2007 NCAA South Central Gymnastics Regional in Tucson, Ariz. Saturday.
Johnson compiled an all-around score of 38.500 based on event scores of 9.500 on vault, 9.700 on the uneven parallel bars, and 9.650 on both the balance beam and floor exercise. Her bars score gave her the highest individual placing with a tie for 24th on that event. She tied for 28th on both the beam and floor.
The NCAA Regional featured six teams, along with five individuals in the all around and one on each individual event for a total of 42 competitors on each event. The top two teams from the South Central Regional, along with the top two all-around gymnasts who are not on a team which qualified for the finals, advanced to the NCAA Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah from April 26-29.
NIU also sent freshman Natalie Blum to the regionals on floor exercise and the Homer Glen, Ill. product scored a 9.025, her lowest floor exercise score of the season, after missing on her second pass.
"Leah did well on all four events, and although Natalie had a miss on her second pass which hurt her score, I'm very, very proud of them to get here to regionals so early in their NIU careers," Sontag said. "They really did well in front of a big crowd and alongside some of the top teams in the country. They represented Northern Illinois and themselves very well."
The NCAA Regionals marked the end of the 2007 gymnastics season for the Huskies. NIU loses four seniors off a team which posted a 7-10 record in 2007. Johnson and Blum were the first Huskie gymnasts to qualify for the regionals since the 2005 season.
-- NIU --