Illini gymnasts upset No. 1

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois coach Justin Spring didn't want to downplay his men's gymnastics team's come-from-behind victory Saturday against No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 7 Michigan.

UI Mens Gymnastics 1/28/12

Illinois mens gymnastics team scored 349.800 to win their meet vs. Oklahoma (347.700) and Michigan (339,100) at Huff Hall in Urbana on Saturday, Jan 28, 2012.

Illini wrestlers round into form

CHAMPAIGN — With just two duals remaining in the Big Ten season, Illinois wrestling coach Jim Heffernan is pleased with his team's continued progress, especially after the eighth-ranked Illini knocked off 18th-ranked Northwestern 26-10 on Friday at Huff Hall.

Riley sets record

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois senior sprinter Andrew Rileybroke his own record in the 60 meters Saturday in the Illini Classic. His 6.71 time in the prelims edged his previous mark of 6.72. He matched the 6.72 in the finals, then later won the 60 hurdles in his first competition of the season.

Illinois took 11 events and won the team title with 255.50 points.

Richartz breaks UI pole vault mark

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois sophomore Stephanie Richartz broke the school record in the indoor pole vault Saturday at the season-opening Illinois Open women’s track and field meet at the UI Armory.

Richartz cleared 13 feet, 11/2 inches. She held the previous mark of 12-111/2, set at the 2011 Big Ten Indoor Championships.

Season of change: 10 biggest area stories of 2011

1. Changing of the guard

UI gymnasts selected

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Illinois senior Paul Ruggeri and freshman C.J. Maestas earned spots on the 2011 U.S. Senior National team based on their performances at the U.S. national championships.

Maestas, who finished second on rings and eighth in all-around, automatically qualified Friday by the National TeamPoints System.

Richardson sparks victory

AVIANO, Italy — D.J. Richardson scored 11 points to lead Illinois past West Virginia 47-26 in a men's basketball scrimmage Wednesday at Aviano Air Base.

Richardson hit all five of his shots as Illinois sank 20 of 32 from the field, including 5 of 8 from three-point range. The Illini had 15 assists on 20 baskets.

Ankle remains bugaboo for Ruggeri

URBANA — Over the past seven months, Paul Ruggeri’s knowledge of ankle anatomy has become textbook-like.

The words peroneal retinaculum flow off the Illinois gymnast’s tongue with the precision of one of his parallel bars routines. And with good reason.

2011-12 Illini: A look ahead

Don't look now, but the Illini sports schedule begins this week, with Janet Rayfield's women's soccer team hosting Gonzaga at 7 p.m. Friday in its season opener. With plenty more action to follow through next June, News-Gazette staff writer JEFF HUTH offers five storylines to get fans ready for a busy 2011-12 Illini calendar.