Gymnastics

What to watch

News-Gazette staff writer Jeff Huth offers three storylines apiece on this weekend's Big Ten Championships gymnastics meets:


Who's that Illini?

I was a two-time Big Ten gymnastics champion, capturing pommel horse titles in 1961 and '62. I also earned All-America honors in the event in 1960. In high school at Winnetka New Trier, I was the IHSA state champion in the pommel horse in 1958.


Who's that Illini?

In 1999, I became the 10th UI gymnast to be named first team All-Big Ten on the women's side. That season, I tied for the Big Ten title on balance beam, probably my best event (career-best 9.9). I also had a 9.9 in 1998 in floor exercise.


Who's that Illini?

A native of Champaign, I survived polio as an infant, later wearing a leg brace. I overcame those obstacles to rank among the nation's best in the gymnastics event then known as the side horse (now pommel horse). In 1940, I won NCAA and Big Ten titles in the side horse. I was a three-time conference champion in the event. I also earned All-America honors in the side horse in 1941 and in rope climb in 1940.


Who's that Illini?

I was a nominee in 1995 for gymnastics' Nissen Award, which goes to the nation's top collegiate senior. I was the Big Ten champion in still rings in 1994 and a 1993 All-American in that event. In high school, I was a three-time state medalist for Hoffman Estates Conant, placing second in still rings as a junior and fourth in both rings and parallel bars as a senior.


Viney claims Big Ten crown

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.


Tony Bleill's Illini Q&A

This week's guest: Wesley Haagensen.


Q & A with Cara Pomeroy

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.


Who's that Illini?

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.


Who's that Illini?

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.


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