COLUMBUS, Ohio – Illinois junior Barbie Viney won the 100-yard freestyle Saturday to earn her first Big Ten title.
The top seed, Viney edged last year's runner-up, Northwestern's Andrea Hupman, in 49.12 seconds. Earlier in the day, Viney secured a spot in the NCAA Championships with an 'A' qualifying time of 49.06 in the prelims.
This week's guest: Wesley Haagensen.
Illinois gymnast Cara Pomeroy started her career with a notable achievement. As a freshman in 2004, the Ottawa, Ontario, native recorded a perfect 10 on uneven bars to win the South Central Regional, joining teammate Ashley Williams as the first UI gymnasts to compete at the NCAA meet in 17 years. Last season she won 11 event titles and was named first-team All-Big Ten.
I was a two-time NCAA champion in a gymnastics event no longer contested. I won national collegiate tumbling titles in 1957 and '58. The event was dropped from the NCAA meet after 1964. Those same seasons, I was the Big Ten tumbling champ. My other specialty, trampoline, also was later discontinued. I was an All-American in that event in 1956– one of four All-American awards I earned during my Illini career.
I'm the only gymnast in Illinois women's history to capture All-Big Ten honors three times, picking up those awards in 1987, '88 and '90. In '87, I qualified for the NCAA meet in the all-around. My only individual league title came in '90, when I won vault, but I still made the Big Ten's All-Decade team for the '80s.
I began my Illini men's gymnastics career with a bang, being voted Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1995. An all-arounder, I was an All-Big Ten performer that season as well as in 1996 and '97. In 1998, I helped Illinois finish third at the NCAA meet. A native of Israel, I represented my homeland in a number of major international meets, including three World Championships.
Born in Urbana, I was a nine-time Big Ten champion for the Illinois women's gymnastics team, competing in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. I was the Big Ten's Gymnast of the Year in 1976 and '77.
When I became Illini men's gymnastics coach in 1930, none of my predecessors had held the position for more than four seasons. I spent 19 years in the role, building Illinois into a national power. My teams won four NCAA titles, all in succession starting in 1939. My squads also captured four Big Ten crowns and never finished worse than third in the league meet. I went on to coach Florida State to two NCAA titles and three AAU championships. In 1959, I was named to the Helms Foundation Athletic Hall of Fame.
I was one of the top collegiate gymnasts in the nation in the early 1950s. A two-time NCAA champion, I captured the gold medal in tumbling (1952) and floor exercise (1953). Six times I earned All-America honors, including three times in tumbling. I also won five Big Ten titles betwen 1951 and '53, including the all-around crown in 1952.
I had modest success in the Big Ten gymnastics meet, winning one title: the pommel horse in 1952. On a bigger stage, however, I left a major imprint. In 1952, I was the NCAA champion in the pommel horse. A year later, I earned All-America honors in that event as well as parallel bars and all-around. I went on to become the first executive director of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation and its successor organization, USA Gymnastics.