Gymnastics slated for quad meet


Kelly Nortz 2/26/12

By Matt Hopkinson

NIU gymnastics is scheduled for its first quad meet of the season as it travels to Eastern Michigan Saturday.

NIU will compete against Eastern Michigan, Temple and Air Force in the sixth and final MAC meet of the regular season.

NIU senior Tanya Rachan said she knows the importance of this meet, as it will determine a big factor later on in the season.

“We definitely want and need to win against Eastern,” Rachan said. “It has a big influence on how we rotate in the MAC competition. There’s seven teams; if we’re in the top four, we get a significantly better rotation than the bottom three.”

Rachan said that it’s a challenge to balance the mindset of focusing on the routine and the thoughts of the importance of the meet.

NIU coach Sam Morreale said practice prepares the team for such occasions.

“It’s about making them aware of what’s at stake,” Morreale said. “We end every conversation we have with what our goals are. I firmly believe if we attain the specific goals inside each competition, that will lead to the win. It’s a way to sprinkle pressure into everything we’re doing so that they’re not getting tight, but that it’s something they’re used to.”

A quad meet factors largely into preparation for future events, as Morreale said it will provide a good opportunity to gain experience before the actual tournament events.

“There’s definitely a learning curve for this event,” Morreale said. “The future events will all be quad meets and it provides a training ground so to speak for our team. The only real difference, though, is how we alternate through events and move between events.”

The Huskies are constantly seeking improvement and have been upping their goals as the season has progressed, and will look to meet a few more of those this coming meet.

“Our goal when we go into meets is to get nine sticks,” Rachan said. “If we get our stuff done the way we’ve been doing it in the gym and the last couple meets, we will beat Eastern.”