March 29, 2010
DeKALB, Ill. - Sophomore Ashley Guerra will represent Northern Illinois at the 2010 NCAA South Central Gymnastics Regional on April 10 in Columbia, Mo. where she will compete on the uneven parallel bars as the NCAA announced the 2010 National Collegiate Gymnastics Championships regional participants on Monday.
Guerra will make her first appearance in an NCAA Regional and is the only bars specialist selected for the South Central Region. Her NCAA selection comes just days after the Orland Park native earned the Mid-American Conference Specialist of the Year honor from MAC coaches for her work on bars and balance beam this season.
The sophomore twice earned Northern Illinois' team-high score of 9.825 on uneven parallel bars and won the bars event at five of NIU's 10 competitions in 2010. She scored 9.725 or higher on bars seven times this season, including in four of the Huskies' last five meets. She earned a 9.650 on bars and a 9.725 on balance beam at the MAC Championships this past weekend to help Northern Illinois secure a fourth-place finish in the team race.
"This is a great opportunity for Ashley to compete at this level as a sophomore," said NIU Head Coach Mark Sontag. "She's had a great year on bars for us and is a natural up there. Her confidence has grown throughout the course of the season, and she has worked very hard on all elements of her routine. I'm excited for her to get the chance to go to regionals and represent NIU."
Guerra is the 17th gymnast selected to compete at NCAA Regionals under current Huskie head coach Mark Sontag; NIU now has sent at least one gymnast to Regionals in 10 of the last 11 years and in each of the last four seasons. Guerra joins 2010 teammates Holly Reichard (2008 and 2009) and Natalie Blum (2007) as current Huskies who have competed at NCAA Regionals.
Six teams, five all-around competitors (not on a competing team) and one individual event specialist per event were selected in each of the six regions. The top two teams, top two all-arounders not on an advancing team and individual event winners who are not a part of those groups will advance to the NCAA Championships in Gainesville, Fla., April 22-24.
-- NIU -
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