Gymnasts fall less than a point short for NCAAs

By Laura Higgins

The tallies are in and the Huskie women’s gymnastics team 1992 campaign is officially over.

After Saturday’s performance at Chick Evans Field House, NIU played a waiting game to see if its team average was high enough to qualify for the postseason regionals. Each region, including NIU’s Central Region, would give bids to the top seven teams.

Yesterday, the Huskies found out that their 187.8 team tally was only high enough for ninth place in the region. LSU took the final spot with a 188.74 average. The leader of the pack in NIU’s region, Alabama, recorded a 194.4.

Last year’s Huskie squad, which finished sixteenth in the nation, qualified with a 188.88 tally. If the team could have matched that this year, they would be standing in the seventh spot.

But, to say that NIU went out with a bang this year would be an understatement.

With head coach Bobbie Cesarek and assistant Harry Orkowski dressed in tuxedos and the tumblers geared with bow-ties on their black and white uniforms, the Huskies recorded a season-best 189.15 team tally last weekend. NIU took the first- place trophy in the five-team meet, while senior Lori Lebo closed out her career with a new school record on the floor, 9.80 and tied the previous mark on vault with a 9.75.

“It’s a little disappointing not making the NCAAs since it’s the first time since 1985 we haven’t sent someone,” Cesarek said. “But we did have a lot of distractions throughout the year that inhibited our performance.

“The talent was there, but we would have had to do extremely well every single meet. And that’s a lot to ask for from them. We knew it was going to be a long shot because the other teams scores this year were very high.”

NIU all-around competitor, Vicki Thimgan, missed qualifying as an individual by .01 of a point. Thimgan’s 37.54 average makes her the first alternate should someone drop out of the regional.