NIU gymnasts have work planned for West Coast

By Laura Higgins

The Huskie women gymnasts are heading west over Spring Break—but fun in the sun will have to take a backseat.

With a triangular meet Tuesday at University of Santa Barbara and another competition Friday at California State University- Fullerton, NIU will have its work cut out. And, both outings are crucial as far as postseason tournament bids are concerned.

NIU is ranked 34th nationally and sits in eighth place in the Central Region. However, postseason bids go only to the top seven teams in each region.

“These meets are extremely important to us,” coach Bobbie Cesarek said. “According to my calculations we’re sitting two-tenths of a point away from the seventh spot. It’s really going to be a make or break situation in regard to the meets.

“But, scores from the West Coast have a tendency to be a shade higher than they might be in the Midwest. We want to try and take full advantage of that by hitting all of our routines cleanly.”

The Huskies are coming off a 187.75-185.55 home victory against Central Michigan University and stand at 10-3 on the season. But, according to NIU tumbler Cindy Hemstad, the team is setting higher goals for the coming meets.

“We’re looking for consistency and hitting higher scores,” Hemstad said. “We definitely want to hit a 188.

“We don’t have the pressures of school and all we have to worry about is competing and hitting our routines. Everything is coming together for us right now.”