Illini gymnasts reach finals

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Illinois men's gymnastics team on Thursday qualified for Friday night's NCAA team finals, the ninth straight season the Illini have been one of the final six teams.

The Illini were one of three teams to advance from Thursday's afternoon qualifying session, posting their second-highest score of the season at 356.000 to tie Penn State for the runner-up spot. Top-ranked Oklahoma had the top score at 363.500.

NCAA gymnastics: An Illinois preview

Can Justin Spring's Illini continue their postseason magic? Can Kim Landrus' Illini make the most of their second trip to an NCAA meet? Here's why both gymnastics coaches are optimistic heading into this weekend's NCAA Championships.

UI men reach Super Six

No. 4 Illinois is back in the Super Six at the NCAA men's gymnastics meet in Columbus, Ohio. Justin Spring's Illini finished behind only No. 1 Oklahoma at today's qualifying session at St. John Arena.

Zymkowitz sparkles in softball split

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Danielle Zymkowitz went 3 for 4 and drove in three runs to lead the Illinois softball team to a 9-3 win against Purdue in the first game of a Big Ten doubleheader Wednesday. Ashley Conrad went 2 for 2 with two RBI for the Illini in support of pitcher Pepper Gay (13-9), who scattered six hits and struck out four.

The Illini lost the nightcap 11-6 despite three hits, a homer and three RBI from Meredith Hackett. Zymkowitz and Hollie Pinchback (RBI) each had two hits for Illinois (19-15, 6-2).

Langford eager to sign

CHAMPAIGN — Apparently, the news that Jereme Richmond has left the Illinois basketball program did not, in fact, shake the hoops world from its axis.

"Are you serious?" Illini recruit Devin Langford said Wednesday when told Richmond had announced he would enter the NBA draft. "That's crazy, man. But good for him. Best of luck to him."

Runner-up Illini gain NCAA berth

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Illinois women's gymnastics team finished second in the Tuscaloosa Regional on Saturday to advance to the NCAA Championships.

Illinois scored 195.925 to edge third-place Penn State (195.850) for the final qualifying spot. Alabama won the regional at 197.275. The national meet is April 15-17 in Cleveland.

UI's Ribeiro riding high

CHAMPAIGN — It probably should come as no surprise that an Illinois gymnast won the Big Ten pommel horse title Saturday night at Huff Hall. Or that senior Daniel Ribeiro was the guy who did it.

The two-time U.S. champion and 2009 NCAA titlist in the event earned the third league crown of his career.

Big Ten gymnastics - in photos

Justin Spring's Illini had a banner weekend at the Big Ten Championships at Huff Hall. The News-Gazette's Robert K. O'Daniell and Robin Scholz were there with their cameras.

Big Ten champs eyeing NCAA title

Minutes after his Illinois men's gymnastics team had clinched its third straight Big Ten title, Justin Spring already had his eye on a bigger prize.

An NCAA title that last belonged to the Illini in 1989.

Spring's guide to meet

Illinois men's coach Justin Spring was kind enough to weigh in with his thoughts on this weekend's Big Ten Championships: