Huskies struggle early, come out victorious in first conference win

By Maddie Barrett

DeKALB — Although the gymnastics team struggled at the beginning of its meet, the Huskies came out on top with a total score of 193.175, just above the Kent State Golden Flashes’ score of 193.125. 

“Overall it’s great to see the team stay resilient and keep their heads and come through and get the win,” said head coach Sam Morreale in an NIU press release. “It was definitely not the start we were looking for [on bars], so to continue to battle and move forward, it was awesome to see them do that.”

The Huskies began the meet on the uneven parallel bars, struggling with landings throughout the event. 

Sophomore Morgan Hooper led the team with a score of 9.825. Hooper’s best score on bars was recorded at the March 2019 State Championships when she scored 9.900.

The end of the first rotation left the Huskies with an overall score of 47.275 and the Golden Flashes with a score of 48.825. 

The Huskies ended their second rotation with a score of 95.775, trailing Kent State by just a few points with its score of 96.200. 

For its second-to-last event, the team moved to the floor. The Huskies completed the 2019 season with a record-breaking overall score of 49.425.

First-year Brookelyn Sears scored a 9.725 on the floor, her first college floor performance

After their third rotation, the Huskies ended with 144.225, just behind the Golden Flashes who ended with a 144.850. 

On the last rotation, junior Catherine Biddle led the Huskies off with a 9.775 on beam. Last season Biddle did not have a fall all season with nine scores reaching 9.700 or higher and all 12 above 9.600, according to the NIU Athletics’ website. 

“I was really proud of our leadoff gymnasts on floor exercise and balance beam in Morgan [Hooper] and Cat [Biddle],” Morreale said in a NIU press release.  “With Morgan, who hasn’t been able to crack the line-up on the floor in the past due to our depth, she was super solid as the leadoff and that’s what you want. Everyone after her was able to feed off her hit. The beam squad, they were rock solid. To go to that event last and be able to do what they did it is really satisfying.”

The Huskies’ season continues 7 p.m Friday when they take on Western Michigan University at the Convocation Center.