Gymnastics claims third straight runner-up finish

NIU earns second place at Tennessee Collegiate Classic with anoter 194+ point performance


Courtesy of NIU Athletics

Head gymnastics coach Sam Morreale talks to his team during a meet in the 2021 season.

By Noah Silver, Sports Reporter

DeKALB — Women’s gymnastics took home second place for the third straight meet with a final score of 194.225 at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic in Lebanon, Tennessee.

“We had bright spots, there were positives,” NIU head coach Sam Morreale said in an NIU Athletics news release. “Brookelyn (Sears) had a great meet, Emmalise (Nock) had a nice vault, Tara (Kofmehl) was good on floor and there were others too. Overall, it’s just not where we know it can be and that’s the part that’s frustrating.”

The Huskies fell short to Lindenwood University (195.475), while defeating Southeast Missouri State University (194.225) for the second time.

Freshman Emmalise Nock led the Huskies to a season-best 48.950 finish in vault by scoring a 9.900. Senior Gabby Welch and junior Brooklyn Sears followed right behind with scores of 9.825 to tie for second.

Sears also finished with a career high on balance beam, finishing with a 9.800 and a 9.775 on uneven parallel bars to lead NIU. Senior Tara Kofmehl tied with Sears to finish with her best score of the season on beam, and took first in floor exercise with a 9.900. Nock and freshman Alana Anderson scored a 9.875 on floor to tie for second place.

While happy with the scores that helped secure second, Morreale said NIU is working to put together a complete meet.

“It’s just frustrating when we make some of those glaring mistakes,” Morreale said. “We end up counting a miss, and we still are giving away points on our landings. As a team, we have to figure out how to step up and do in the meets what we do in practice every day. Hopefully we’re learning, hopefully we’ll build from all this and hit our stride.=”

The Huskie will be back in action Jan. 30 as they open up conference play with a dual meet at Bowling Green State University ino Bowling Green, Ohio.