March 17, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois senior Natalie Blum (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport Township HS) was named the Mid-American Conference Co-Gymnast of the Week by the league office on Wednesday.
Blum led the Huskies to a second place finish with a team all-around score of 191.300 at the EMU Eagle Invitational quadrangular meet in Ypsilanti on Saturday. She took first on vault with a score of 9.725 and on floor exercise with a 9.800. Her score on the floor was the highest score recorded at the meet. She also received a 9.550 on uneven parallel bars.
Blum has won individual titles seven times this season, including a first place in all-around against University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. She has three wins each on vault and floor exercise in 2010.
"What a deserving athlete," said NIU Head Coach Mark Sontag. "She is in her senior year and she has really, really stepped up in all four events. She competed in all-around this year which she hasn't been doing in the past and she's at the top of her game. I can't think of a more deserving individual to receive this award. She works hard day in and day out."
Blum is the third Huskie gymnast to receive a MAC honor this season. Sophomore Ashley Guerra and freshman Natalie Sutter were awarded specialists of the week Jan. 12 and Jan. 19, respectively.
Northern Illinois will compete in the State of Illinois Classic Saturday in Bloomington, Ill. versus Illinois State, Illinois-Chicago and Illinois. The meet begins at 5 p.m. and is the Huskies' final competition prior to the MAC Championships.
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