Matko Awarded Northrip Endowed Scholarship
May 18, 2010
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State junior gymnast Emily Matko was awarded Monday with the Nancy and Robert Northrip Endowed Scholarship, which is presented annually to a junior gymnastics student-athlete athlete with at least a 3.0 grade-point average (GPA).
Nancy and Robert Northrip are the owners of Ultimate Gymnastics in Chicago. Both have held a lifelong interest in gymnastics and participated in athletics while attending Illinois State. Nancy lettered in gymnastics for the Redbirds and Rob was a Redbird cheerleader.
ISU gymnastics head coach Bob Conkling believes Matko represents the spirit of the scholarship.
"I am pleased that Emily was selected as this year's recipient of the Northrip Endowed Scholarship," Conkling said. "Emily is a strong student-athlete that excels both in the classroom and in gymnastics. I feel she represents this scholarship well because of her strong dedication to her school, sport, team and the local community."
Matko has been a consistent competitor on the vault, uneven bars and balance beam in her time at Illinois State. The Roanoke, Va., native posted a career-high score of 9.775 on the floor exercise at the 2010 Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) Championships on March 27. She also charted a season-high score of 9.600 on the vault in a quadrangular meet against Air Force, Western Michigan and Wisconsin-LaCrosse (Jan. 24). A six-time member of the AFNI Athletics Honor Roll, Matko maintains a 3.67 cumulative GPA in biological sciences at Illinois State.
"I feel extremely humbled to be honored with a scholarship like this," Matko said. "As an athlete, I have earned awards for my gymnastics ability, but this one is different because it recognizes my achievement in the classroom as well. I believe you have to be a good student first in order to be a successful collegiate student-athlete at ISU and I have always tried to work hard and do my best in both areas."
The Northrip Endowed Scholarship is one of 23 endowed scholarships available to Illinois State student-athletes that are funded by private donors. For more information about establishing an endowed scholarship, please call The Redbird Club office at (309) 438-3803.
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