Senior Kim Gotlund (Wadsworth, Ill./Warren Township HS) and juniors Kelly Nortz (Bay Village, Ohio/Magnificat HS) and Amanda Stepp (Lapeer, Mich./Lapeer East HS) of the 2014 Northern Illinois University women’s gymnastics team have been named to the Academic All Mid-American Conference team, the league office announced Monday.
Gotlund, a three-time All-MAC gymnast, was named to the Academic All-MAC team for the third time, while Nortz and Stepp made the elite team for the first time in their careers.
It marks the third consecutive year that at least three Huskies have been named Academic All-MAC.
“Congratulations to Kim, Kelly and Amanda,” said NIU head coach Sam Morreale. “That’s awesome, a great day for them and another good day for NIU gymnastics. It’s good to see them getting recognized the what they have accomplished outside the gym. Our whole team works hard in the classroom, and you can see that with the six more Huskies who made the honorable mention list.”
Gotlund, who graduated from NIU last weekend in health sciences/pre-physical therapy with a 3.8 grade point average, was a two-time first-team All Mid-American Conference gymnast and twice was selected as an individual competitor at the NCAA Regionals. She finished her career this past April at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional after competing in every meet as an all-arounder for the Huskies over the last three seasons, and serving as a team captain all three years.
In 2014, she placed a career-best third at the MAC Championships in the all-around. During the course of her NIU career, she performed 147 routines, achieving career-highs of at least 9.800 in all four events.
Stepp also represented NIU at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional in April as she competed on floor exercise as the lone event specialist at the regional. She tied for third at the MAC Championships on floor exercise with a career-high score of 9.850 and led the Huskies on the event throughout the season with seven scores of 9.825 or higher.
A nursing major with a 3.58 GPA, Stepp was in the Huskie line-up in three events as she was one of NIU’s top vaulters and led off for the NIU balance beam team.
Fellow nursing major Nortz carries a 3.85 GPA while starting for the Huskies on both vault and floor exercise. Nortz enjoyed her most consistent season as she never scored below 9.600 on either event in 2014 while competing in 10 of 11 meets. Nortz’ vault averaged ranked second on the team.
The Academic All-MAC team is selected by the league faculty athletics representatives, who vote based on athletic and academic accomplishments of the nominees. To qualify, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and have participated in at least 50 percent of the contests for that sport. Freshmen and junior college transfers in their first year are not eligible.
In addition to the three Huskie selections, six NIU gymnasts earned honorable mention Academic All-MAC status after qualifying for nomination to the group.
Senior Natasha Jufko (Spring Hill, Fla./Pasco-Hernando HS), juniors Shelby Davis (Wichita, Kan./Heights HS), Morgan Johnson (Elburn, Ill./Kaneland HS) and Peyton Taylor (Bloomington, Ill./Normal University HS) and sophomores Natalie Amadio (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich HS) and Kylie Clark (Naperville, Ill./Waubonsie Valley HS) all secured honorable mention Academic All-MAC recognition.
For more information on NIU gymnastics and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.