By The News-Gazette
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A dominant performance by Alina Weinstein on Saturday night propelled the Illinois women’s gymnastics team to its third NCAA Championships appearance in program history.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Illinois men’s gymnastics team no longer sits atop the Big Ten.
For the first time since 2008, the Illini failed to bring home a conference championship.
Trying to win its fifth straight conference championship, Illinois instead wound up in fifth place at the seven-team event Friday night.
When Justin Spring’s gymnasts won the 2012 NCAA title, there was legitimate optimism that the Illini could continue to thrive in that thin stratosphere. They were ranked No. 1 going into this season.
But as we saw with men’s tennis (NCAA champs in 2003), men’s basketball (2005 runners-up) and volleyball (2011 runners-up), even a Perfect Storm will break up and weaken.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Illinois women’s gymnastics team placed fourth during Saturday’s Big Ten Championships, compiling 196.475 points. Nebraska won the eight-school meet with a score of 197.800.
The Illini won their afternoon session.
“We have been talking about momentum all year long and continued to build it in the month of March,” Illinois coach Kim Landrus said.
By The News-Gazette
URBANA — A day after falling to the nation’s top-ranked men’s tennis team, Illinois lost to the second-ranked squad in the country.
Southern California left Atkins Tennis Center with a 6-1 victory Monday following the nonconference dual meet against No. 15 Illinois.
CARBONDALE — Reliever Bryan Roberts helped streaking Illinois escape a ninth-inning jam, and his teammates responded with three runs in the top of the 10th to pull out a 7-5 nonconference baseball victory against Southern Illinois on Saturday.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Illinois sophomore Ashley Spencer and junior Samantha Murphy advanced Friday at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
Spencer posted the fastest time in her 400-meter heat and the second fastest overall, clocking a school-record 51.55 seconds. Georgia freshman Shaunae Miller had the best time in 51.14.
CHAMPAIGN — Senior Yoshi Mori won titles on floor and pommel horse, but seventh-ranked Illinois lost 438.900-436.250 to top-ranked Penn State in men’s gymnastics Saturday night at Huff Hall.
Mike Wilner posted the Illini’s best mark ever (15.900) to claim the rings crown.
GENEVA, Ohio — Illinois coach Tonja Buford-Bailey first heard the chatter after her team finished second at last May’s Big Ten outdoor meet.
“They said second place was not good enough, that they only wanted to win,” Buford-Bailey said. “They’ve been talking a long time. This new generation likes to talk a lot, likes to get on Twitter and say what they’re going to do.
CHAMPAIGN — Alina Weinstein set a new school record in the all-around Saturday, and No. 21 Illinois needed every fraction of a point the senior could muster to defeat Iowa, 195.975-195.875 in Big Ten women’s gymnastics at Huff Hall.