Gymnastics in a good place in preseason

By Steve Shonder

The gymnastics team is exactly where it wants to be at this point.

The Huskies held their intra-squad meet before a packed house Friday at the Convocation Center. The gymnasts were divided into red and black teams to give the meet a sense of competition. While the team’s goal of averaging 9.7 per event was not reached, head coach Sam Morreale was still pleased with the direction the team is headed in.

“I thought we had a great day,” Morreale said. “We’ve got some work to do. We’re still a little rough around the edges. It’s a great start for us. We had huge bright spots in both groups on all events. Putting both things together now, we’re actually going to be a competitive team.”

Even though it’s early in the season, the Huskies’ performance has given them high expectations. Sophomore Jaelyn Olsen believes NIU is having a good preseason.

“I feel like we’re in a [better] place than last year,” Olsen said. “It’s only November and we still have [a] couple months [to improve].”

While Morreale was satisfied with the meet, he believes there’s still a lot of work to be done and attributes mistakes to nerves.

“I’m satisfied with the direction we’re going, but realistically I thought we were going to hit more routines,” Morreale said. “We had more falls than I was expecting. A lot more people showed up than I expected. I don’t think they were ready for that. Getting in front of everybody changes the way you approach stuff.”

Freshman Megan Greenfield believes the team needs a little more practice, but NIU is on the right track to a successful year.

“We started off in a good spot,” Greenfield said. “We do have some room for improvement, but it’s the beginning of the season. We’ve got a bright future.”