NIU to host The Beauty and the Beast at the Convocation Center, featuring the gymnastics and wrestling teams


By James Krause & Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — Friday gymnastics will host the Western Michigan University Broncos and wrestling will host the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Trojans at the Convocation Center for the ninth annual Beauty and the Beast meet. 

The Beauty and The Beast meet will begin 7 p.m. Friday in the Convocation Center for wrestling and gymnastics.


The team enters its dual meet against the Trojans with its best 10-dual start in seven years. NIU received one vote in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association coaches poll, with a pair of wrestlers entering the meet with top-20 national rankings.

The Open Mat, a leading collegiate wrestling website, has redshirt sophomore Brit Wilson ranked 12th nationally at 184 pounds. Wilson has the best winning percentage of any Huskies starter with an 11-2 record this season.

FloWrestling rankings have redshirt first-year Izzak Olejnik ranked 18th in the country in the 165-pound division.

Little Rock enters with only three duals under its belt this season, but first-year 125-pounder Jayden Carson has already made an impact for the Trojans in open tournaments. Carson finished second in the Cougar Clash, hosted by Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.


Western Michigan is coming off the 2019 season having finished sixth out of seven teams in the Mid-American Conference, while NIU placed first, winning the championship. 

WMU seniors Taylor Buis and Amelia Mohler will lead the Broncos as they compete in their last season.

WMU junior Alexis Olivier, the 2019 MAC uneven bars champion, is also expected to be a key contributor, according to the Western Michigan Athletics website.

Last season, the Huskies faced off against Bowling Green State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago and came in second in the Beauty and the Beast tri-meet. 

Key contributors from the 2019 meet include senior Cinny Lamberti with a vault score of 9.775.

The balance beam was the strongest event for the Huskies, as they recorded a score of 48.900, winning the event overall.