Lord and Martucci close out the gymnastics season

Sophomore gymnast Mia Lord

By Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — The gymnastics team was represented by two Huskies Friday at the NCAA Regional competition. Senior Anna Martucci and sophomore Mia Lord competed in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and closed out their 2019 seasons. 
Lord competed in the afternoon session as an individual-event specialist on balance beam, scoring a 9.800, the second-highest beam score by a Huskie at NCAA Regionals. 
Lord earned her spot after helping the Huskies win the 2019 Mid-American Conference Championship March 23. 

Head Coach Sam Morreale was impressed with his young gymnast’s performance and told NIU Athletics he was excited for what’s to come.

“The great thing about an underclassmen coming here is she brings back what she learned and how she felt, and the hope is they get the feeling they belong here as a team,” Morreale said. “As a sophomore, she has a bright future ahead of her.” 

Martucci scored a 9.675 on the floor exercise after coming up short on her final tumbling pass, closing out her gymnastics career and   the evening session of regionals.
Although this was her lowest floor score of the year, Martucci won MAC Specialist of the Year for the second consecutive year and earned first team All-MAC honors in her final season with the Huskies. 
Morreale said Martucci had an amazing opportunity to compete with some of the best gymnasts in the country.

“It was a great experience for both of them,” Morreale said. “[Martucci] was able to travel with [No. 2-ranked] UCLA, and that was a super experience. It was really cool for her. She was in the corner getting ready for her routine on floor, and one of the girls from UCLA comes over to give her a little encouragement, and it’s Madison Kocian, the Olympian.”

Martucci and Lord’s performances capped a record-breaking season for the NIU gymnastics team. NIU won the MAC Championship for the first time in program history and broke several school team records for the balance beam and floor exercise.

The Huskies come off a strong season with hopes to carry this season’s momentum forward to 2020.