Jan. 19, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - For the second consecutive week, a Northern Illinois gymnast has claimed the Mid-American Conference Specialist of the Week honor as NIU freshman Natalie Sutter was honored Tuesday by the MAC Office.
Sutter's performances on vault and floor exercise in just her second collegiate competition helped Northern Illinois claim a 190.600-189.675 Mid-American Conference victory over Western Michigan Sunday at the NIU Convocation Center. The freshman recorded a career-best score of 9.700 on vault to tie teammate Natalie Blum and WMU's Kristine Garbarino for first place on that event.
With the Huskies trailing WMU by .850 points entering the final rotation, Northern Illinois needed strong performances on floor exercise from its final three gymnasts and Sutter delivered with a career high score of 9.700, setting the stage for Tanya Rachan and Natalie Blum, who secured the win for NIU.
"To see this type of a performance from a freshman is really exciting," said NIU Head Coach Mark Sontag. "A lot of times if a freshman gets into the line-up at all, she is ahead of the curve. Natalie has worked really hard to make herself into a consistent competitor and it's because of her work effort that we're seeing these results. In addition, she's throwing some really high-level skills - a handspring double front and handspring double full front -- that we have not seen from any of our gymnasts. Natalie is good now, but she's only going to get better."
Sutter follows Huskie sophomore Ashley Guerra, who was named MAC Specialist of the Week following NIU's
victory over Wisconsin-La Crosse in the 2010 season opener, in winning her first MAC weekly honor.
After two straight home meets to start the 2010 season, Northern Illinois (2-0, 1-0) goes on the road for the first time as they compete at Bowling Green this Sunday. The meet begins at 1 p.m. (Central) in Bowling Green, Ohio.
-- NIU --
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