Campos lands second Mid-American Conference Gymnast of the Week honor of season


March 3, 2003


CLEVELAND, OH---Sunday (Mar. 2) was billed as Senior Recognition Day for the Northern Illinois University gymnastics team, but sophomore Kristina Campos (Gladstone, MO / Oak Park) stole the show---along with four blue ribbons. She added another trophy to the list on Monday (Mar. 3) when Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst named Campos the league's Gymnast of the Week.

Campos won three event titles plus the all-around crown for the Huskies versus Kent State University on Sunday (March 2). She equaled her career-best with a 39.300 all-around score, reaching the level for the second consecutive week. That mark is also just one-tenth of a point below Sandy Menard's school record of 39.400, set on March 24, 1995. For Campos, Sunday's effort featured a 9.900 on the floor exercise plus a 9.850 on the balance beam and a 9.825 on the uneven parallel bars.

"Kristina's gone 39.300 back to back now, which is just an incredible accomplishment," Northern Illinois coach Mark Sontag said. "She is really helping herself in terms of regional qualifying averages."

Campos' run on the winner's podium began on the bars as she slipped past the Golden Flashes' Erika Linnersten by 0.025 points, earning a 9.825 from the judges. Those two competitors also finished one-two on the balance beam, with Campos (9.850) just ahead of Linnersten and KSU teammate April Zentko (9.825).

"Her vault wasn't quite as good as she's capable of, otherwise she would have broken the record," Sontag said. "She has really stepped up all of her routines to a national level.

"Kristina's scoring at a high level on a consistent basis and the team is coming along as well," the Huskie coach added. "It's really impressive to see that level of performance on a regular basis. We're looking at the rest of the MAC and thinking we can beat them now. In the past that wasn't the case, but we're competing at a high level right now."

Campos already owns four of the 14 scores of 39.000 or better in Northern Illinois gymnastics history, including three this season. Over her last four meets, the Gladstone, MO, native is averaging a lofty 39.081 in the all-around. Monday marks Campos' second Gymnast of the Week honor this season. She garnered similar recognition for her efforts in the season-opener versus Winona State University (Jan. 12).

The Huskies return to action Sunday (March 9), hosting MAC rival Eastern Michigan for a 2 p.m. (CST) dual at the Convocation Center.

--30-- -- Copy by Robert Hester



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