Lord and Martucci selected to represent NIU at NCAA Regionals

By Maddie Barrett

Sophomore Mia Lord and senior Anna Martucci will represent NIU when they head to the NCAA regionals April 5. The NCAA announced Monday Martucci will compete in the floor exercise and Lord on the balance beam.

Lord and Martucci will compete in the Ann Arbor Regionals, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Lord is slated to compete in the afternoon session while Martucci will compete in the evening.

“It’s definitely super-exciting, props to [Martucci] and [Lord] for getting it done all year,” said NIU Head Coach Sam Morreale to NIU Athletics. “There is no automatic qualifier in gymnastics [for winning the MAC] for either an individual or a team. They’ve proven all year long that they deserve the postseason.”

Martucci and Lord helped the Huskies win the MAC Championships on Saturday, Lord closing out beam with a 9.900.

Lord was selected by the NCAA for the first time on balance beam, while Martucci will be returning for the second consecutive time on floor exercise.

Related: Gymnastics claims first ever MAC Championship

Martucci and Lord both received individual Mid-American Conference awards at the MAC Championships Saturday. Lord received individual title for balance beam, closing out the meet with a 9.900 and receiving second team All-MAC recognition for the season.

Martucci won MAC specialist of the year for the second consecutive year while also being named to the All-MAC first team.

“[Martucci] is the veteran who is going for the second time and [Lord] is the newcomer,” Morreale said. “The cool thing about going as an individual is you are in the rotation with a team ranked in the top 10 to 15 in the nation.  Both [Martucci] and [Lord] belong in that kind of company, they are going to feel right at home with those kids from an ability standpoint.”

Martucci recorded NIU’s best floor exercise score at NCAA regionals last year with a 9.800. Martucci also shared the MAC individual title on floor with a 9.900 and scored a floor exercise of 9.900 or higher is six meets this season.

This will be the Huskies’ fifth consecutive season sending a gymnast to regionals. The top event specialist at the NCAA regionals will advance to the national championships in only their event only.