Illini seeking perfect 10th title in men's gymnastics

URBANA – Justin Spring knows what it's like to go through an entire college career and never win an NCAA team title.

Four years after his final season at Illinois, that void continues to haunt one of the most decorated gymnasts in the school's history.

Jeff Huth's Illini Insider

Staff writer Jeff Huth's review and preview of all things Illinois:

Fudge, Illini upset Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Megan Fudge, ranked 106th, upended No. 55 Sonja Molnar 6-1, 6-3 at No. 1 singles to help visiting Illinois beat No. 22 Iowa 6-1 in women's tennis Saturday.

Illinois (10-7, 4-1 Big Ten) moved into sole possession of third place in the Big Ten behind Michigan and Northwestern.

Men's gymnasts vault to top spot

lIlinois, which won its second consecutive Big Ten men’s gymnastics title Friday night, jumped two spots to No. 1 in this week’s national poll, which ranked teams by a national qualifying average.
The Illini compiled a team score of 359.700, boosting their national qualifying average to 358.030.

Fernandez return could spark Illini

URBANA – Illinois gymnast Melissa Fernandez likely would compete in no more than two events if she is able to return from a leg injury for the NCAA Central Regional meet on Saturday

Illinois wins four crowns


COLUMBUS, Ohio – Illinois claimed four individual event titles Saturday at the Big Ten men's gymnastics championships.

Paul Ruggeri was victorious on vault and on high bar, raising his career total to four. Daniel Ribeiro earned his second career pommel horse title, while C.J. Padera won the first Big Ten crown of his career with a win on parallel bars.

Gymnasts rally for Big Ten title

The third-ranked Illini trailed by 1.85 points heading into their final rotation (vault) to defeat fourth-ranked Michigan, which finished on rings, and claim their second consecutive league title.

"Today, the guys really embodied what it means to be a Fighting Illini. I'm so proud of the way they kept their heads in it and rallied together as a team. No one gave up, and their perseverance paid off. They were relentless in their pursuit of the title," coach Justin Spring said.

Justin Spring hoping for history

This weekend, Justin Spring can accomplish something no coach has in the rich history of Illini men's gymnastics.

Not Hartley Price and Charlie Pond, each U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductees. Not Yoshi Hayasaki, the program's winningest coach and a former collegiate national coach of the year. Even they did not win a Big Ten Championships title in their first try, something that's within the grasp of first-year head coach Spring.

Women's gymnasts seeded third

INDIANAPOLIS — The 13th-ranked Illinois women’s gymnastics team earned the third seed in the Central Regional, which begins Saturday in Lexington, Ky.

Illinois received a regional invite for the seventh year in a row and earned a top-18 seed for the second straight year.

Roundup: Starkell honored; golf teams deliver

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Illinois' Bob Starkell was named Big Ten co-Coach of the Year on Saturday. The rest of the day didn't go so well for the Illini.

No. 13 Illinois, hoping to contend for a league title, finished sixth at the Big Ten Championships at Ohio State. An injury to Melissa Fernandez forced Starkell to adjust on the fly.