CHAMPAIGN – Illinois will compete in the NCAA Regional in Lincoln, Neb., at 6 p.m. April 9, the NCAA announced Monday.
URBANA – Teammates started calling him "Big Ten Ben" toward the end of his sophomore season.
Ben Newman has done nothing since to make them reconsider their choice of nicknames.
CHAMPAIGN – The main scoreboard at Huff Hall flashed the score of the Illini basketball game in the middle of Illinois'' gymnastics meet Saturday, but the crowd didn''t take its eyes off the mats.
Credit Yoshi Hayasaki''s second-ranked team for keeping their attention.
LAS VEGAS – Juniors Adam Pummer and Justin Spring both earned gold medals during the weekend at the USA Gymnastics Winter Cup, the first time Illinois can boast two champions in the event.
Spring, one of nine gymnasts chosen to the U.S. national team, won the high bar with a score of 9.25. Pummer took the floor exercise at 8.95.
The Illinois men''s gymnastics team was the equal of No. 1 Ohio State on Saturday at Huff Hall, but Yoshi Hayasaki''s Illini remain second to the Buckeyes in the rankings.
The Illinois women''s gymnastics team was ranked 25th in the GymInfo Top 25 poll on Monday. Bob Starkell''s Illini dropped seven spots from a week ago. The rankings are based on highest team score of the season. Beginning Jan. 24, rankings will be based on season average.
Bob Starkell''s Illini women''s gymnastics team is ranked 18th in the first GymInfo Top 25 poll of the regular season.
This week''s guest: gymnast Adamm Pummer.
This week''s guest: gymnast Kara Kapernekas.
Sophomore gymnast Justin Spring and junior goalkeeper Leisha Alcia received the Dike Eddleman Awards for the 2003-2004 season, the prize given to the top male and female athletes at Illinois each year.
Spring is the first gymnast to win the award since David Zeddies in 1989, the last time Illinois won the national team championship.