Hamp, Al-Ashari, Nock to represent NIU at Denver Regional


Mingda Wu

Junior gymnast Alyssa Al-Ashari posing during her beam routine at the EMU gymnastics meet. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star)

By Zachary Bertram, Senior Sports Reporter

DeKALB – NIU gymnastics senior Natalie Hamp, junior Alyssa Al-Ashari and sophomore Emmalise Nock were selected to compete in the 2023 NCAA Regional in Denver, Colorado. The selections were made on March 20 and the competition will take place on March 31. 

Hamp will make her third consecutive NCAA Regional appearance and will compete on bars. Hamp will be the first Huskie to compete in three NCAA Regionals since Holly Reichard in 2008, 2009 and 2011. 

Al-Ashari will debut at the NCAA Regional and will compete on bars and balance beam. Al-Ashari will be the first Huskie to compete in two different individual events since Courtney Dowdell in 2017.

Nock will be making her NCAA Regional debut and will compete in the floor exercise event. Nock scored a 9.900 in each of the Huskies’ last five meets to help her qualify for Denver. 

“This is a culmination of outstanding seasons for all three of these ladies,” NIU gymnastics head coach Sam Morreale said via NIU Athletics. “To qualify for NCAA Regionals as an individual, you have to be at the top of your game all year long. For Natalie, it shows her greatness on bars to qualify for the third time, and I know she wants to go and do well in her last chance as a senior. For Alyssa and Emmalise, this is a super opportunity. Emmalise averaged a 9.9 on floor to get there, and I think Alyssa only counted one score below that, so it shows the consistency they had all year long.”

The Huskies will compete in the first session of the NCAA Denver Regional second round and the meet will be streamed on ESPN+ at 2 p.m. on March 31 in Denver, Colorado.