Despite season-high score, NIU gymnastics falls to Illinois State


By Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — The gymnastics team earned its season-best score but lost against Illinois State State University with a score of 193.400-193.625. Although ISU won against the Huskies, multiple gymnasts placed individually. 

The Huskies began on the uneven parallel bars while ISU began on vault. Coming out of the first rotation, the Redbirds led 48.225-47.550. First-year Natalie Hamp, sophomore Morgan Hooper, ISU first-year Angelica Labat and junior Gabrielle Cooke tied for first on bars, all with a score of 9.825. 

Hamp’s previous personal record was set at the Jan. 17 Western Michigan meet when she scored 9.800.

For the second rotation, ISU stayed at the top with a score of 97.000-96.275. Sophomore Tara Kofmehl placed first on vault overall, and NIU senior Cinny Lamberti tied for second with Labat, both scoring a 9.800.

Kofmehl’s previous personal record on vault was made at the March 15, 2019 meet against Central Michigan University with a score of 9.775.

After the Huskies’ third rotation on floor, the Redbirds fell behind with a score of 144.850-144.725. Placing first on floor was Kofmehl with a score of 9.900, matching her Feb. 17 personal record at Ball State University. 

NIU competed on beam for its final event, finishing with a score of 193.400-193.625. Junior Zoie Schroeder placed second overall on beam with a 9.825, just under her personal record of 9.850 made at least season’s MAC Championships. 

“In our sport, [a lot of times] when you miss, it’s because you’re trying too hard,” Head Coach Sam Morreale said to NIU Athletics. “I told the team, don’t let the pursuit of greatness get in the way of being good. I feel like we have the makings for what we want to be, we have to step out and get there. I’m confident the big meet is out there waiting for us.”

The Huskies compete again 1 p.m Feb. 2 at the Convocation Center against the Central Michigan Chippewas.