Illini men raise bar; women treat coach
CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois men's gymnastics team scored its highest total of the season in a 225.825-220.825 Big Ten victory against Michigan State on Saturday at Huff Hall.
The Illini, ranked fifth nationally, controlled the meet against the No. 10 Spartans to improve to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten.
"We put up a pretty good score but really didn't have a very good meet," Illinois coach Yoshi Hayasaki said. "It just goes to show you what this team's potential is.
"Our high bar performance suffered, but we looked great on floor and still rings."
Junior Linh Hoang had wins on the floor (a career-best 9.725) and rings (9.65) for the Illini. He was second on the parallel bars.
Senior All-American Travis Romagnoli won the high bar with a 9.55 and the vault with a 9.50.
Illini Sean-Paul Crawford tied with Romagnoli and teammate Leo Oka in the vault. Greg Cook set a school record in winning the parallel bars at 9.90.
The Illini return to action next Saturday at third-ranked Ohio State.
In women's gymnastics:
Illini roll. New coach Bob Starkell earned his first Big Ten victory as Illinois defeated the visiting Spartans 193.475-190.775.
A strong showing on the balance beam helped the Illini break open a close meet.
Jana Gallagher won the event with a 9.825, and Gina Wiechmann was second with a9.775.
"Scoring a 193 is exactly where we wanted to be," said Starkell, who took over before the season for Lynn Brueckman. "That was the goal score, and we came out and hit on vault, were at home and full of energy.
"We've been practicing awfully hard, and it showed in their performances."