Gymnastics set to honor their seniors Friday


By Maddie Barrett

The NIU gymnastics team has found success this season with its veteran talent being a key reason why. Seniors Emily Basara, Ally Ferber, Anna Martucci and Paige Nicholas have contributed to their team in more ways than one since their NIU gymnastics career.

Basara, a Gurnee Illinois native, is a specialist on bars who recorded a 9.775 against the University of Illinois Chicago on Feb. 24, her best score of the season.

Basara missed time in 2016 due to an injury to her ACL and meniscus her freshman year, but returned to competition in 2017 as an exhibition competitor. Basara is now one of the team captains and said she has seen herself grow in more ways than one.

“My teammates have really pushed me to bigger and better heights,” Basara said. “I’ve definitely matured and grown as a leader over the past couple of years. Coming in here I struggled to find who I was individually as a person and as a teammate.These girls have really pushed me to get into that [captain] role.”

Ferber is from Woodbury, New York. She specializes in floor with her highest score of the season, a 9.875, coming in the Jan. 27 Beauty and the Beast meet against Bowling Green and UIC..

This season, Ferber won NIU Scholar-Athlete of the week the week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 3. Ferber also injured her ACL and meniscus in her junior year. Since returning to competition this year, she said she’s seen herself grow as a competitor.

Related: Gymnastics drop hard-fought match to UIC

“It definitely opened my eyes to a different perspective of gymnastics and enjoying every opportunity,” Ferber said. “You never know [if] the last meet’s going to be your last, and just soaking in every moment and being grateful for the opportunity to do something I love so much.”

Nicholas is from Cleveland, Ohio. Her best event is floor exercise with a high score of 9.850 from the Huskies’ Feb. 17 meet against Ball State.

Nicholas said she is happy about has establishing herself in the rotation this season, competing on uneven parallel bars, beam, vault and floor.

“I’m really excited to leave knowing that I’ve done everything I’ve wanted to do gymnastics wise,” Nicholas said. “If we can take it just one step further with our goal of regionals that would be the best note to end on with [the team].”

Martucci grew up in Clarkston, Michigan. The Huskie specializes in floor exercise with a season-high score of 9.950 in NIU’s Feb. 17 meet against Ball State.

In the meet against the Cardinals, the Huskies floor squad broke the school record for the second time this season with a score of 49.425.

Martucci won Mid American Conference specialist of the year last year and is a three time MAC specialist of the week award winner this semester. Martucci has also won the NIU Scholar-Athlete of the Week award two times this season.

Related: Get to know Anna Martucci

Martucci said she is excited to graduate but will definitely miss her team.

“I’ve just been so happy being here these past four years and every single practice has been something that I’ve looked forward to,” Martucci said. “ and I don’t think a lot of college athletes are that fortunate. It’s been awesome being in here and getting to participate with all these girls. Their positivity and humor that they bring to each practice is just amazing.”

The seniors will compete in their final regular-season home meet against Illinois State University and honor their seniors 6 p.m.  Friday at the Convocation Center.