Washington's Allison Northey brings senior leadership to Husky gymnastics
The music started, the lights came up, and Allison Northey was ready to go.
Session one of the 2016 Pac-12 Women’s Gymnastics Championship would be her final meet on her home floor. The Washington senior graduates this spring after four solid years as a Husky.
“Senior night was last week, and it was kind of nice to keep those feelings at bay of, ‘Oh my gosh, this is my last time competing on the floor.’ No, we’re hosting Pac-12s. This is great.
"It’s our home floor, home crowd. My immediate and entire extended family comes to all of my meets here…It feels good competing here again, so it was really fun today.”
With such a young UW team, and as the only senior this year, much of the leadership role was thrust onto Northey. But she took the challenge head on.
“I think at the beginning of of the year, knowing I was the only senior, it was kind of a daunting task for me," she said. "I’m not a very bossy person, so I figured out the role and the importance of leading by example.
"Stepping in when people need help, making sure everybody’s good. Just being that role model for the younger ones is the most I can do.”
Head coach Joanne Bowers knows she’ll be difficult to replace.
“I was joking after Senior Night…We have four recruits coming in in the Fall, two scholarship freshmen that have been out all year with injuries, and we’re gonna get them back, so we’re gonna have six new, very good gymnasts for next year’s lineup. And we lose Allie. I think it’s still gonna be hard to replace her.”
What exactly is it that makes Allison such a staple of the Huskies team?
“Because of the leadership, because of the confidence, because of what she brings to the team," Bowers said. "It’s not just what you see here, on a meet day.
"That didn’t just happen when [Allison] walked in the gym…She was also just open to, ‘What’s gonna help me?’ She’s done all the work.”
That work ethic has carried over into her academics. Northey loves to study science and recently applied for an internship in Antarctica, tagging Adelie penguins.
Leaving the world of UW, Northey is confident in where she’s going. So is her coach.
“You usually do a lot of talking people off the ledge their senior year…I always value people like her, that have so many other interests and really are high achievers in a lot of things.”
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