The road to the 2012 London Olympics for U.S. gymnasts begins this week in St. Louis, and there's a sizeable Illini contingent among the hopefuls. Staff writer JEFF HUTH takes a look at the U.S. Visa Championships:
1. The basics
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Al Martindale is retiring after 29 years as director of sports medicine and head athletic trainer at Illinois. Here are 10 other Illini we will be sad to see go:
Dennis Nevolo, men's tennis
CHAMPAIGN — After leading the Illinois men's gymnastics team to its 10th national title and first in 23 years, Justin Spring on Monday was named the 2012 National Coach of the Year.
Illinois assistant coaches Daniel Ribeiro and Ivan Ivankov were named Assistant Coaches of the Year.
You've seen freshman sensation C.J. Maestas and fifth-year senior Paul Ruggeri — the younger from Corrales, N.M., and the elder from Manlius, N.Y. — honored as leaders of the Illini's NCAA gymnastics championship.
But when Justin Spring talks of "a team triumph," this isn't coach-speak.
The 2012 NCAA National Champion University of Illinois Men's Gymnastics team returned to Bielfeldt in Champaign on Sunday, April 22 , 2012.
NORMAN, Okla. — Justin Spring didn't get much sleep after his Illinois men's gymnastics team won the NCAA championship on Friday.
Another sleepless night was on tap after Spring's Illini enjoyed another banner evening at Saturday's individual event finals.
NORMAN, Okla. — U.S. Olympic hopefuls C.J. Maestas and Paul Ruggeri III added individual event titles to the team national championship they won for Illinois, and all-around champion Jake Dalton of Oklahoma claimed the national title on parallel bars at the NCAA men’s gymnastics meet on Saturday night.
NORMAN, Okla. — Most of his roster wasn't born when the Illinois men's gymnastics team last won a national championship in 1989. But coach Justin Spring said his athletes have been aware of the tradition and expectations that come with pulling on an Illinois uniform since they arrived on campus.
URBANA — Tied 3-3 in a Big Ten dual with Indiana, the Illinois women's tennis team turned to senior Marisa Lambropoulos.
On Senior Day at the Atkins Tennis Center, Lambropoulos delivered.
She defeated Indiana's Katie Klyczek 6-3, 6-7 (9-11), 6-2 to clinch the win for the 21st-ranked Illini (16-6, 8-2 Big Ten).
NORMAN, Okla. — Illinois rallied in its final two events to pass No. 1 Oklahoma on Friday night and win its first NCAA men’s gymnastics title since 1989.
Led by U.S. Senior National Team members Paul Ruggeri and C.J. Maestes, Illinois posted a team score of 358.85, 1.4 points better than Oklahoma, which failed to win the national title in its home arena.