Illini pair off to regionals

Junior Jana Gallagher and freshman Ashley Williams were selected to represent Illinois on April 6 in the NCAA South Central women''s gymnastics regional at Tempe, Ariz.

Gallagher is making her third regional trip, qualifying for the second straight season in the all-around.

I''m happy that Coach (Bob) Starkell gave me the opportunity to compete in the all-around in enough meets that I was able to qualify, she said. I''m happy to represent Illinois, but I would be even more happy if the entire team could go.

I will work hard to hit my routines and have a good showing.

Williams, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, qualified as the top individual all-arounder for the Illini, who came a fraction of a point from making the regional as a team.

It''s a great honor, but I was hoping we could go as a team, she said.

The top individuals at Tempe advance to the April 18-20 national championships at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

I''m happy for the gymnasts. I''m excited because Jana is going for the third time, so she knows how to better prepare herself to compete. To have a freshman going also, I think will make it a better competition, Starkell said.

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