Hamp, Kofmehl headed back to NCAA Regionals

Natalie Hamp Tara Kofmehl inch one stage closer to a NCAA championship appearance.

Senior+gymnast+Tara+Kofmehl+is+one+of+two+gymnasts+who+will+compete+at+NCAA+Regionals+March+31+in+Seattle+Washington.

Sean Reed

Senior gymnast Tara Kofmehl is one of two gymnasts who will compete at NCAA Regionals March 31 in Seattle Washington.

By Skyler Kisellus, Sports Editor

DeKALB — On the heels of their second place finish at the Mid-American Conference Championships on Saturday, NIU gymnastics is sending two of its own to the NCAA Regionals on March 31 in Seattle, Washington.

Senior Tara Kofmehl and junior Natalie Hamp will compete as individuals at the Seattle Regional after claiming individual titles during NIU’s second-place performance at the MAC Championships. Kofmehl and Hamp will both be making their second-straight appearance in regionals after participating in last year’s event in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“It’s exciting for Natalie and Tara to be going to regionals again,” head coach Sam Morreale said in an NIU Athletics news release. ”For both of them, it’s always better to go back the second time. This year they’re going knowing they belong and determined to make it through to nationals.”

Kofmehl participated in the 2021 NCAA Regionals as an all-arounder, securing a combined score of 39.175. Her performance is the highest score by a Huskie all-around competitor at NCAA Regionals in NIU history.

Hamp’s routine on uneven parallel bars during last year’s outing earned her a 9.900 for the event. The score tied for second at the meet and is the highest all-time score at that event by a Huskie participating in NCAAs. 

The duo will accompany Oregon State University’s squad in the second of two sessions set to take place at American Airlines Arena in Seattle. They will compete in the bars and floor rotations as specialists, with Kofmehl on floor exercise and Hamp on uneven parallel bars.

The second session of the NCAA Seattle Regional will start at 9 p.m. CT and will be available on ESPN+.