2010 - Senior: Second-team All-Big Ten selection ... Named the team's Most Consistent Beam performer ... Won the all-around title against No. 2 Oklahoma and had 10 top-3 finishes ... Posted a career-best 9.875 on uneven bars against Michigan ... Tied a career-high 9.825 on beam against Missouri ... Competed in the all-around at every meet and topped the 39-mark seven times ... Hit 55-of-56 routines on the year ... Academic All-Big Ten and Scholastic All-American selection.
2009 - Junior: Named second-team All-Big Ten ... Tied her career-high on beam at the NCAA Championships with a 9.825 in the lead-off spot ... Placed sixth on bars (9.850) and seventh in the all-around (39.150) at the West Regional ... Took second on vault at the Big Ten Championships with a career-high 9.900 and finished eighth in the all-around with a career-best 39.275 ... Won the all-around title against Penn State with a 39.175 ... Hit 52 of 56 routines on the season, including a perfect 14-for-14 on floor ... Had 15 top-three finishes on the season ... Competed in the all-around in every meet, placing in the top-two six times and cracking the 39-point barrier nine times ... Set or tied her career-high on three events and the all-around ... Academic All-Big Ten selection.
2008 - Sophomore: National qualifier in the all-around ... Competed all-around in every meet ... Turned in a solid 4-for-4 performance at the NCAA Championships, scoring a 38.925 in the all-around, including a 9.800 on the uneven bars ... Finished third in the all-around at the NCAA South Central Regional with a season-high 39.100 to earn the trip to the NCAA Championships ... Won the floor exercise at Iowa with a 9.825, her only event title of the season ... Had 15 top-three finishes on the season ... Finished second on floor (9.850) and in the all-around (39.050) at Auburn ... Named the team's Most Valuable Gymnast ... Academic All-Big Ten.
2007 - Freshman: First-team All-Big Ten selection ... Competed all-around in every meet ... Placed in the top 10 in four events at the NCAA South Central Regional (fifth on bars, eighth in the all-around, eighth on vault and 10th on beam) ... Tied for fourth in the all-around (39.000) and tied for eighth on bars (9.850) at the Big Ten Championships ... Was also the team's top floor performer at Big Tens, tying for 14th place with a 9.775 ... Claimed 10 event titles (two on vault, one on bars, one on beam, three on floor and three in the all-around) to tie for the team lead with Cara Pomeroy and racked up 21 top-three finishes ... Was the only Illini to win at least one title on each event and in the all-around ... Posted the top two floor exercise scores (9.875 twice) and four of the top-five all-around scores for the Illini on the season ... Had a career meet against Ohio State on Feb. 3, winning her first career all-around title while placing first on floor, second on beam and third on vault ... Was a double-winner on two other occasions, winning bars and the all-around at Illinois State on March 4 and vault and floor vs. UIC on March 17 ... Named team's Most Outstanding Gymnast and Most Consistent Beam Performer.
High School/Club: Six-time Junior Olympic National Qualifier ... Two-time Junior Olympic Team member ... Two-time Region V all-star team member ... 2006 third place all-around, and runner-up on beam at Nationals ... 2006 Region V all-around champion and runner-up on bars and third on vault and floor ... 2006 Indiana State Champion ... Placed eighth on vault and beam at 2005 Nationals ... 2005 Regional all-around, bars, beam and floor champion ... In 2004 placed fourth in the all-around and on vault at Nationals ... 2004 National Team member and ninth place on floor ... Competed for Wright's Gymnastics ... Coached by Casey Wright, Michelle Hart, and Steve Ellsbury.
Personal: Born June 12, 1988 ... Daughter of Paula Cowart Dyson ... Says she chose Illinois because "the academics that Illinois will provide me shall set the stage for my plans after graduation and it was an opportunity to be a part of a second family with thirteen sisters" ... Majoring in accountancy.
Nicole's Career Highs
Vault: 9.900 (3/21/09)
Bars: 9.875 (2/27/10)
Beam: 9.825 (6x, last 3/13/10)
Floor: 9.875 (twice, last 3/17/07)
All-Around: 39.275 (3/21/09)
The Cowart File
Being a Fighting Illini means: Representing the University to the best of my ability by displaying the true meaning of being a student-athlete
My best memory as an Illini is: Our football team beating Ohio State to help guide us to the Rose Bowl
Favorite TV shows: Dexter, Lost
Favorite athlete: Andy Roddick
Favorite activity outside gymnastics: Going to amusement parks
Famous people I've met: Ricki Lake
If I was on a reality show it would be: Survivor
Favorite food/meal: Chipotle burrito bowl
I've been told I look like: Mulan
Plans after Illinois: Pursue a Master's degree from Illinois in Accountancy
Updated August 2010