Thimgan, Lebo lead gymnasts in opener

By Laura Higgins

Chalk one up for the NIU women’s gymnastics team.

And, chalk one up for senior tumbler Lori Lebo who set a new school record on vault after hitting for a 9.75, and breaking the previous mark of 9.70.

The Huskies hosted their first meet on Saturday and decisively knocked off the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Winona State University. Valparaiso University was also scheduled to attend but cancelled due to weather.

NIU tallied for a team total of 185.3—one and a half points better that last week’s total in the University of Missouri’s Shakespeare Classic. Winona State finished in second with a 179.2, followed by Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s 171.45.

“We had a really nice-sized crowd and I think the girls were a little more nervous for this meet,” head coach Bobbie Cesarek said. “But they really did well and we were very happy to get our score up.”

Standout all-around tumbler Vicki Thimgan finished the day with a 37.35 composite to take the all-around title while freshman teammate Tiffany Bollinger finished the four events with a 36.35 total.

After a somewhat unimpressive display on the uneven parallel bars in their opening meet of the season, the Huskies were able to turn in some high marks on Saturday with some very impressive routines.

Sophomore Nicole Pedicini scored a 9.7 on the bars followed by Sheryl Kurowski’s 9.65. Thimgan finished with a 9.4 on the unevens.

“We’re gaining on the bars and getting better, but the floor exercises gave us problems,” Cesarek said. “We only had three days to work on floor last week and we just were not in shape for the routines.

“Next week we have a five-day work week so we have a lot of time to work on things. We still have a lot of things we need to smooth out.”

NIU will be home again next weekend when they take on Iowa State University Sunday at 1 p.m.