Natalie Hamp secures MAC Specialist of the Week honor

By Northern Star Sports Staff

NIU senior bars specialist Natalie Hamp secured MAC Specialist of the Week honor on Tuesday.

At Sunday’s tri-meet against Illinois State University, Hamp earned her third score of 9.9 this season, scoring 9.9 on her specialty in both meets. Hamp’s on-bar season average has improved to 9.88, according to the Mid-American Conference. She finished in first place twice, helping the Huskies achieve three wins.

The Specialist of the Week honor is given to a gymnast who has participated in one or two events.

Hamp is a two-time MAC Champion and has placed either first or second place in every meet so far this season, according to a release from NIU Athletics. 

“At this point, if Natalie doesn’t go 9.9, it’s almost a surprise,” NIU gymnastics head coach Sam Morreale said. “If she gets through her routine and sticks, she’s going to be in the 9.9 range. She has really clean lines, her form is great and she doesn’t give away tenths. Natalie is really good at what she does because she trains so hard.”

Junior Hannah Ruthberg from Ball State University was also titled MAC Gymnast of the Week on Tuesday after earning 9.875, her career-best beam score. 

NIU gymnastics faces off against Kent State University and Simpson College at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Convocation Center for its annual Beauty and the Beast Meet along with NIU wrestling. At the Beauty and the Beat Meet, both teams compete simultaneously. Click here to watch the game online.