Huskies place third at George Washington Invitational

By Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — NIU gymnastics placed third overall at the George Washington Invitational Sunday against Temple University, North Carolina State University and George Washington University.

NIU earned an overall score of 195.450 to finish behind N.C. State’s 196.025 and George Washington’s 195.900 and defeated Temple’s 195.075 in its first multi-team away meet of the season.

“I was super happy with our performance,” NIU Head Coach Sam Morreale said in an NIU news release. “We left a little bit on the floor, but coming off the week off, I felt like once we got through warm-ups and came out for the meet, I was impressed.”

Sophomore Morgan Hooper began the meet with a 9.825 on floor exercise, scoring just below her personal best of 9.850 made at the Jan. 17 meet against Western Michigan University. 

First-year Brookelyn Sears scored a 9.825 on floor exercise, beating her previous career-best of 9.800, made at the Jan. 17 WMU meet. 

In addition to Sears and Hooper, sophomore Tara Kofmehl and senior Amanda Bartemio each earned scores of 9.825 on vault, all in a tie for sixth place with George Washington junior Anna Warhol.

“[Sears] had arguably her best meet since she’s been here,” Morreale said in an NIU news release. “She got sticks which was the one element that had probably been missing. [Hooper’s] floor was great to lead off. It was good to see us pick up where we left off [before last week’s off week].”

After the first rotation, The Huskies sat in second place behind North Carolina State with scores of 49.175 and49.000. NIU moved to the vault for its second rotation.

Junior Mia Lord earned a 9.650 to start the Huskies off on vault. Kofmehl scored a 9.800, just under her career-best of 9.825 made at the Jan. 25 meet against Illinois State University. 

Juniors Zoie Schroeder and Gabby Welch also earned scores of 9.800 on vault, placing third in the event overall.

The Huskies moved to uneven parallel bars for their third rotation. Senior Lauren Gomes began the event, earning a career-best score of 9.800. Gomes’ previous personal record of 9.750 was made at the Feb. 24, 2019 meet against the University of Illinois at Chicago.

NIU will compete again 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at Southeast Missouri State University in the Tennessee Collegiate Classic.