Williams qualify to compete at NCAA South Central Gymnastics Regional
DeKALB, IL--- Northern Illinois University gymnast Kristina Campos
qualifying for the NCAA South Central Women's Gymnastics Regional
is now officially an annual event. Campos---who will make her fourth
regional appearance in as many years---and teammate Ashlee Williams
were both named as regional selections by the NCAA and will compete
Saturday (Apr. 9) in Lincoln, NE, at 7:00 p.m. (CDT).
Six full teams, five all-around competitors, and one event specialist
in each event are chosen to compete in each of the six regional
meets to be held over the weekend at campus sites throughout the
country. The top two teams and top two all-around competitors not
on those squads advance to the NCAA Championships to be held at
Auburn University starting on Thursday, Apr. 21.
The South Central Regional field includes Arizona State University,
the host University of Nebraska, the University of Michigan, the
University of Arizona, the University of Missouri, and the University
of Illinois. In addition to Campos, Southeast Missouri State's Tara
Boldt and Katie Bloom will compete in the all-around along with
Jennifer O'Neil and Jackie Jaworowicz from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Williams (Liberty, MO / Senior) qualified as the event specialist
on the uneven parallel bars and will be joined by vault specialist
Brooke Meunier and beam specialist Jessie Jaworowicz of UIC as well
as Rachel Goddard of Texas Women's University (floor exercise).
Campos (Gladstone, MO / Oak Park)---a 2005 Second Team All-Mid-American
Conference selection---becomes just the second gymnast in Northern
Illinois history to notch four regional appearances, joining former
NIU great Martha Unger (1987-88, 1989-90) in the exclusive club.
The senior posted a 38.404 average over 12 all-around competitions
this winter including her 15th-career 39.000-plus effort---a 39.100
that was good enough for an all-around title at perennial MAC powerhouse
Central Michigan University (Mar. 20). Included in that mark was
a season-high 9.900 on the floor exercise that helped boost Campos'
season average in that event to 9.720. She also owns a 9.632 average
on the balance beam that was helped by five routines of 9.750 or
better including a run of three straight meets above 9.800 from
Feb. 27 to Mar. 6.
"Kristina has worked so hard from day one, and the results
have always showed," NIU head coach Mark Sontag said.
"When you sit back and think about the fact that she is only
the second Huskie to ever accomplish what she has accomplished over
the course of her career, it's pretty amazing."
Fresh off her co-event title on the bars and a First Team All-MAC
nominations at the MAC Championships (Mar. 25), Williams rides a
little bit of momentum into the weekend. The junior---who will be
making her first regional appearance---matched her season-high with
a 9.875 at the MAC summit to close out the year with a 9.752 average
on bars. It was Williams' eighth performance of 9.800 or better
and third consecutive effort above 9.775 to close out the season.
In a display of amazing consistency, Williams only had two bars
routines that dipped below 9.700 all season.
"Ashlee put up some huge scores on bars all season," Sontag
added. "The most encouraging thing is that she has gotten stronger
towards the end of the year. To tie for first in any event at the
MAC Championships is quite an accomplishment."
2005 marks the second straight season that has closed with multiple
Northern Illinois gymnasts qualifying for the South Central Regional.
Campos was one of a quartet of Huskies who made the cut last year,
as Danielle Dacey---who now serves as NIU's student assistant
coach---senior Katie Willett (Hastings, NE / Adams Central),
and sophomore Kelly Kramer (Long Lake, MN / Benilde St. Margaret's)
all made the trip to Tuscon, AZ.