Gymnasts take meet

By Kari Brackett

NIU women’s gymnastics won the top spot in its first home meet Saturday by defeating Iowa and Wisconsin-Oshkosh at Chick Evans Field House.

After four events, the Huskies tallied a 176.60 score, followed by the Iowa at 172.35 and UWO’s 166.40 rounded out the triangular. The Huskies upped their record to 5-1.

In head-to-head meet between Iowa and NIU, the Huskies took control on the uneven bars. NIU scored a total of 43.80, while Iowa tallied 39.65. NIU’s 45.1 score on the vault set a new school record.

“When you win you are always excited,” coach Bobbie Ceserek said. “The kids had a lot of team spirit. Our vaulting improved a great deal, or at least our scores improved. Our uneven has usually been lower, but today made a difference.”

In all-around competition, Iowa’s Robin Zussman walked away with the blue ribbon, scoring 36.20. Wisconsin’s Mary Leivian took second with 35.95 and NIU’s Martha Unger was third with 35.60. NIU was missing all-arounder Amy Taylor. Taylor will be out the rest of the season with an injury.

While Cesarek was pleased with her squad’s effort, she admits the team has room for improvement.

“I think everyone was a little nervous, since it was our first home game,” Cesarek said. “We’re still building. We have not peaked by any means, so it’s nice to know we’re improving.”

Scoring only 42.8 points on the balance beam, which was NIU’s lowest scoring event, Cesarek expressed disappointment.

“We didn’t have one clean routine on the beam,” Cesarek said. “The tumbling part (on the beam) was what hurt us.”

The Huskies are now preparing for a dual meet next week at Iowa State. Cesarek said her team has a lot of work to reach the 178 score the Cyclones received last week.