GYMNASTICS--- Northern Illinois University at Central Michigan University
/ at Mt. Pleasant, MI / Mid-American Conference dual / Sunday /
March 20, 2005
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 196.725, NORTHERN ILLINOIS 193.200
Gymnasts can't keep up with Central Michigan, suffer 196.725-193.200
loss on road
MT. PLEASANT, MI-There's a reason that Central Michigan University
is widely regarded as the standard when it comes to Mid-American
Conference women's gymnastics. Northern Illinois University came
within .050 points of its season-high point total, but couldn't
seem to keep up with the Chippewas who wrapped up the regular-season
MAC title with a 196.725-193.200 triumph over the Huskies in Mt.
Pleasant Sunday (Mar. 20).
Northern Illinois falls to 7-10 in dual meets this season to go
along with a break-even 3-3 record in the MAC. Central Michigan
improves to 12-5 overall with a 6-0 mark in the conference, but
suffered a huge blow to their chances at the league summit this
weekend when top gymnast Kara Reighard suffered a season-ending
knee injury during the day's first event.
Nonetheless, the Chippewas established control of the meet early,
sweeping the top four spots in the vault. NIU senior Kristina
Campos (Gladstone, MO / Oak Park) was the only Huskie to crack
the top-five, placing fifth with a 9.725. That would be a running
theme for the afternoon, as Campos put together arguably her best
meet of the season, winning the all-around competition with her
first 39.000-plus effort of the season. The senior checked in at
39.100, barely edging CMU standout Sara Burtinsky (39.000) in the
Campos tied for first on the floor exercise with a season-high 9.900
performance while also notching a team-high 9.825 on the balance
beam that was good enough for a fourth-place tie. She also added
a 9.650 on the bars that rounded out her four-event day.
Ashlee Williams (Liberty, MO / Senior)---who won an all-around
title of her own at the State of Illinois Classic Saturday (Mar.
19)---and Lisanna Goldschen (St. Joseph, MN / Apollo) provided
some support on the bars, tying for fifth place with identical 9.775
efforts. Jody Yednock (West Chicago, IL / West Chicago) came
in just behind them in a tie for seventh at 9.750.
"We really struggled on bars earlier this week, so it was nice
to see us work out some of those problems," NIU head coach
Mark Sontag explained. "Overall, I think we put together
a pretty good meet, and we are pretty encouraged by our progress
heading into the end of the season."
The Huskies looked to be keeping pace when they put up a solid 48.900
on the floor exercise in the day's third rotation. In addtion to
Campos, Amy Ristvedt (Alexandria, MN / Jefferson) tied for
fifth with a 9.800 while Keri Saint (Amite, LA / Oak Forest
Academy) and Bethany Plapp (Sycamore, IL / DeKalb) each posted
CMU really turned up the heat during that third rotation, however,
and started to pull away with a 49.325 on the beam. The Huskies,
on the other hand, could only muster a 47.625 that sealed the fate
of the meet. Outside of Campos, no Huskie competitor could cross
the 9.625 barrier with Mariah Howard (Hales Corners, WI /
Whitnall) checking in at the No. 8 spot in the final standings right
"We had to count a couple falls on beam, which really hurt
us," Sontag added. "All we can do is put it behind us
though and really work towards putting together a solid all-around
meet at the MAC Championships this weekend."
Northern Illinois will welcome the other six teams in the conference
to the Convocation Center for this year's MAC Championships. The
one-night event is scheduled for Friday (Mar. 25) at 6:00 p.m. (CST).