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February 22, 2004

WOMEN'S COLLEGIATE GYMNASTICS --- Northern Illinois University at the State of Illinois Classic / at Champaign, IL / University of Illinois' Huff Hall / Non-Conference Meet / Saturday / March 13, 2004


VAULT: 1---Veronique Meunier (UIC), 9.900; 2---Kara Kapernekas (UI), 9.875; 3---(TIE)---Kelly Kramer (NIU), Danye Botterman (UI), Asshley Williams (UI), 9.850. Other NIU scores: 7---Kristina Campos, 9.800; 10---Amy Ristvedt, 9.725; T12---Heather Marti, 9.700; 16---Dannielle Dacey, 9.675; Ashlee Williams, 9.650. Team scores: UI 49.000, NIU 48.750, UIC 48.500, ISU 47.875.

UNEVEN BARS: 1---Cara Pomeroy (UI), 9.925; 2---(TIE)---Kristina Campos (NIU), Ashley Williams (UI), 9.900; 4---(TIE)---Katie Willett (NIU)), Veronique Meunier (UIC), 9.875. Other NIU scores: 7---Dannielle Dacey, 9.800; T10---Ashlee Williams, 9.750; 18---Cassandra Judy, 9.650; 24---Kristin Harrington, 8.250. Team scores: UI 49.100, NIU 48.975, UIC 48.925, ISU 47.850.

BALANCE BEAM: 1---(TIE)---Cara Pomeroy (UI), Katie Wild (UI), Lisa Klein (ISU), 9.850; 4---Margaret Dann (UI), 9.825; 5---(TIE)---Kristina Campos (NIU), Lauren Newcomb (UI), Rachel Zelinski (UIC), 9.800. Other NIU scores: T13---Mariah Howard, 9.650; T18---Dannielle Dacey, 9.550; T18---Amy Ristvedt, 9.550; 22---Ashlee Williams, 9.000; 23---Kelly Kramer, 8.850. Team scores: UI 49.075, ISU 48.550, UIC 47.900, NIU 47.550.

FLOOR EXERCISE: 1---Lauren Newcomb (UI), 9.925; 2---(TIE)---Kristina Campos (NIU), Jackie Jaworowicz (UIC), Alyson Cacciatore (UIC), 9.900; 5---Danye Botterman (UI), 9.875. Other NIU scores: T11---Kelly Kramer, 9.800; T11---Ashlee Williams, 9.800; 16---Amy Ristvedt, 9.750; T18---Kristin Harrington, 9.700; 21---Dannielle Dacey, 9.600. Team scores: UIC 49.150, UI 49.125, ISU 48.975, NIU 48.950.

ALL-AROUND: 1---Kristina Campos (NIU), 39.400; 2---Ashley Williams (UI), 39.325; 3---Kara Kapernekas (UI), 38.975; 4---Dannielle Dacey ((NIU), 38.625; 5---Ashlee Williams (NIU), 38.200.

RECORD TO DATE: Northern Illinois now 7-9-0 on the season
NEXT HUSKIE MEET: Friday / March 19 -- NIU at Mid-American Conference Championships, Mt. Pleasant, MI, 6 p.m.


CHAMPAIGN, IL---Saturday's (March 13) meet was billed as the "State of Illinois Classic," a meeting of the Prairie State's four Division I gymnastics programs. But a native of Missouri---Northern Illinois University junior Kristina Campos (Oak Park, MO / Gladstone)---stole the show.

Campos earned the unofficial state title for the second consecutive year, equaling her season-high with a 39.400 composite. That marked Campos' seventh 39-plus total of the season, and the 13th of her career. The Huskie gymnastics history includes 23 such scores, including Campos' school-record 39.550 which garnered a share of the all-around championship at last year's gathering.

On Saturday, the Missouri product's work helped Northern Illinois compile a 194.225 team score, eclipsing the 194 mark for the sixth time in the past eight meets. But that wasn't enough this time around as host University of Illinois tallied 49.000 or better in each event for a 196.300 score, pulling away from runner-up University of Illinois-Chicago (194.475). Illinois State University rounded out the field at 193.250.

"Kristina had another great meet today, and the team did a good job for the amount of people who have had to step up due to injuries," Northern Illinois coach Mark Sontag said. "Our depth on bars has really helped this year, and a lot of people are getting experience which will help us for the future."

The Huskies fell just short of the school standard on the vault, posting a 48.750 score which was 0.050 below the school standard set three weeks ago. Freshman Kelly Kramer (Long Lake, MN / Benilde-St. Margaret's) paced the Northern Illinois contingent as her 9.850 effort drew a share of third place while Campos took seventh spot with her 9.800. Illinois-Chicago's Veronique Meunier topped the winner's podium, gaining a 9.900 for her efforts. That helped the host Illini register a 49.000 team score, a quarter-point better than NIU's total.

Illinois' Cara Pomeroy edged Campos for top honors on the bars as her 9.925 performance was 0.025 ponts ahead of Campos and Illini teammate Williams. Huskie junior Katie Willett (Hastings, NE / Adams Central) matched her career-best---set last week---and claimed a share of fourth place for her 9.875 performance while senior Dannielle Dacey (Saskatoon, Saskk. / Marion M. Graham) added a 9.800 for NIU, which registered a 48.975 team score but could not match UI's 49.100 effort.

The floor exercise saw Campos match her season-high with a 9.900 performance. That was only good enough for second place, though, as UI's Lauren Newcomb drew a 9.925 for her routine in front of her hometown fans. Kramer and NIU's Ashlee Williams (Liberty, MO) earned matching 9.800 scores but the Huskies' 48.950 total was behind both UIC (49.150) and the host Illini (49.125).

The balance beam proved to be Northern Illinois' undoing, however, as a 47.550 team score left Sontag's crew at the bottom of the four-team field in that event. Campos' 9.800 showing was good for a portion of fifth place but none of her teammates finished among the top 12 competitors.

Mariah Howard (Hales Corner, WI / Whitnall) was next in line with a 9.650 score for 13th place while Dacey and Amy Ristvedt (Alexandria, MN / Jefferson) tied for 18th position with their 9.550 tallies.

"Beam had been our problem early in the season, and it reared its ugly head again," Sontag noted. "But we did better on floor. We had been struggling there, but we were able to put it together today."

In the all-around competition, Campos edged Illinois' Ashley Williams by 0.075 points while Illinois standout Kara Kapernekas finished third at 38.975. NIU representatives Dacey (38.625) and Ashlee Williams (38.200) rounded out the top five.

Northern Illinois closes the season Friday (March 19) at the Mid-American Conference championship meet. Central Michigan University hosts this year's edition of the league summit, which begins at 6 p.m. in Mount Pleasant, MI.

-30- -- Copy by Robert Hester



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