Campos claims two event titles, all-around crown as Huskie gymnasts open 2003 season with strong showing



January 12, 2003

WOMEN'S COLLEGIATE GYMNASTICS --- Northern Illinois University vs. Winona State University / at DeKalb, IL / NIU's Convocation Center / Non-Conference Dual Meet / Sunday / January 12, 2003



DeKALB, IL---Sophomore jinx, what's that? Northern Illinois University gymnast Christina Campos (Gladstone, MO) took the first step toward a second consecutive NCAA regionals appearance Sunday in the Huskies' 2003 season-opener versus Winona State University.

Of course, she had plenty of support as NIU made an auspicious debut in its new Convocation Center home. The Huskies surpassed 48.000 on three events and finished with a 191.675 total, compared to WSU's 182.950.

"We've had years where we struggled to score 190 all year. Now we threw a 191 to start, and there were even a few misses," NIU coach Mark Sontag said. "I'm very pleased with our performance. This was definitely a good way to start the season."

Campos captured the balance beam and floor exercise titles with scores of 9.725 and 9.875, respectively, as the Huskies swept the top three spots in all four events. Northern Illinois senior Kristie Woodin (Lake in the Hills / Jacobs) won the vault competition with her 9.750 while Lisanna Goldschen (St. Joseph, MN / Apollo) took the blue ribbon on uneven parallel bars with a similar 9.750 effort. Campos was the all-around champion with a four-event score of 38.925, more than a point of nearest competitor Anna Gardina (Gahanna, OH).

"Rarely does a first meet stand up to help in your average toward qualifying for regionals, but this one might for Kristina," Sontag noted. "She has upgraded every one of her routines. Anna was struggling at the end of last year, but I think she's doing better now than in her sophomore season when she qualified for regionals. I'm looking forward to seeing those two compete in the gym at practice."

Woodin's vault surpassed the 9.675 of Tiffany Nolen (Woodstock, GA / Sequoyah) for the top spot, with Gardina and Keri Saint (Amite, LA / Oak Forest Academy) sharing third spot at 9.650. Campos was runner-up on bars at 9.700, just ahead of Nolen's 9.650.

Freshman Ashlee Williams (Liberty, MO) gained her initial collegiate experience, taking third place in both floor exercise (9.775) and balance beam (9.550) after a 9.050 on bars. Kristin Harrington (West Dundee / Dundee-Crown) performed exhibition routines in her first meet as a Huskie.

"We put a big load on a freshman, and Ashlee responded," Sontag said. "She handled the pressure well."

On bars, Williams finished behind Campos and Laura Hale (Plymouth, MN / Wayzata), who tallied a 9.650. Gardina took second on floor (9.825) and the all-around (37.725).

The Huskies hit the road for their next two meets, beginning Friday (Jan. 17) with the University of Illinois Quadrangular. NIU also meets Mid-American Conference rival Ball State University, in addition to national power Auburn University, in a 7 p.m. meet.

-30- -- Copy by Robert Hester

VAULT: 1---Kristie Woodin (NIU), 9.750; 2---Tiffany Nolen (NIU), 9.675; 3---(TIE)---Anna Gardina (NIU), Keri Saint (NIU), 9.650. Other NIU scores: Kristina Campos, 9.625; Laura Hale, 8.975. Team scores: NIU 48.350, WSU 46.675.

UNEVEN PARALLEL BARS: 1---Lisanna Goldschen (NIU), 9.750; 2---Kristina Campos (NIU), 9.700; 3---Tiffany Nolen (NIU), 9.650; 4---Anna Gardina (NIU), 9.100. Other NIU scores: Ashlee Williams, 9.050; Laura Hale, 8.575. Team scores: NIU 47.250, WSU 42.575.

BALANCE BEAM: 1---Kristina Campos (NIU), 9.725; 2---Laura Hale (NIU), 9.650; 3---Ashlee Williams (NIU), 9.550; 4---Nikki Terbilcox (WSU), 9.350. Other NIU scores: Crystal Flondor, 9.250; Anna Gardina, 9.150; Mariah Howard, 9.050. Team scores: NIU 47.325, WSU 45.825.

FLOOR EXERCISE: 1---Kristina Campos (NIU), 9.875; 2---Anna Gardina (NIU), 9.825; 3---Ashlee Williams (NIU), 9.775; 4---Nikki Terbilcox (WSU), 9.725. Other NIU scores: Laura Hale, 9.650; Tiffany Nolen, 9.625; Keri Saint, 8.400. Team scores: NIU 48.750, WSU 47.875.

ALL-AROUND: 1---Kristina Campos (NIU), 38.925; 2---Anna Gardina (NIU), 37.725; 3---Laura Hale (NIU), 36.850; 4---Kristin Crouse (WSU), 36.425.

RECORD TO DATE: Northern Illinois now 1-0-0 on the season
NEXT HUSKIE MEET: Friday / Jan. 1 --- NIU at University of Illinois
Quadrangular, Champaign, IL, 7 p.m.