For the second time this season, Northern Illinois sophomore gymnast Megan Melendez (Stafford, Va./North Stafford HS) has been honored by the Mid-American Conference as its Specialist of the Week, the league announced Monday.
Melendez won both the balance beam and uneven parallel bars Sunday versus Illinois State in Normal while recording her career and season-high scores in both events. She scored a 9.800 on bars, topping her previous high score of 9.725, and earning her first win on bars this season.
On balance beam, her 9.850 score is the top mark by a Huskie gymnast on beam this season and topped her previous best of 9.775 by .075. Melendez was also named one of three co-Specialists of the Week on Feb. 13.
“Megan was spot on this weekend,” said NIU head coach Sam Morreale. “She finally put two events together, which she’s been doing in practice on a regular basis. It’s a testament to her hard work, and attention to detail. She relishes competition. She’s a big part of us moving forward. She’s one of those kids that you can rely on her every time she gets up on an event. This could be the first of many 9.8 scores for her.”
Melendez’s scores helped the Huskies tie their second best team score in school history while defeating the Redbirds, 195.100-194.350 in a road meet on Sunday. She contributed to NIU’s top totals of the year on bars and beam as the Huskies tallied 48.850 on both events.
Northern Illinois’ overall score lifted the Huskies to 39th in this week’s national rankings and NIU ranks third among MAC teams.