Jan. 22, 2008
DeKALB, Ill. - After leading the Huskie gymnastics team to its best season-opening performance in years Sunday at Kent State, Northern Illinois junior Leah Johnson earned Mid-American Conference Gymnast of the Week honors Tuesday from the league office.
Johnson, a junior from Glenview, Ill., won the all-around competition and claimed individual event titles in the uneven parallel bars and the floor exercise as the Huskies posted a team score of 192.675, the second-highest total in the MAC this season. She also placed second in the vault as Northern Illinois led the preseason favorite Golden Flashes after three events before falling by eight-tenths of a point.
Johnson's 38.800 total in the all-around is the best score by a league gymnast this year; she surpassed that mark only twice during here sophomore season. She won the bars competition at Kent State with a career-best mark of 9.775 while her floor exercise score of 9.825 tied her career best. Johnson added a 9.800 on vault and scored a 9.400 on the balance beam.
The Glenbrook South High School product earned her second career MAC honor as she was the league's gymnast of the week on March 26, 2007 after winning the all-around title at the Illinois State Championships.
"This was a great way for Leah and for our team to start the 2008 season," said NIU Head Coach Mark Sontag. "To open with a 192.675 right out of the gate at Kent State gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season. The best thing is that we know we still are improving and that is the key going into next week."
Northern Illinois opens its home season this Sunday when they play host to MAC foe Western Michigan at the Convocation Center. The meet begins at 2 p.m.
-- NIU --