I was a seven-time national champion in gymnastics from 1938 to 1940, an NCAA record matched only by Nebraska''s Jim Hartung (1980-82). Three of the titles came in all-around and three others in tumbling. I also was a nine-time All-American, including four such accolades in 1940. I ruled tumbling in the Big Ten, too. Of my five conference titles, three came in that event. In 1966 I was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
I competed in women''s gymnastics from 1994 to ''97. Until 2003, when Jessica Cole matched me, I was the sole owner of the school''s vault record, scoring a 9.925 in 1996. I also shared the fourth-best score on the list at 9.875, which I accomplished twice, including once in the 1997 Big Ten championships.
I was a two-time NCAA gymnastics champion – winning the all-around and vault in 1998 – and a nine-time All-American. I was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Year in 1998, the same year I won the conference high bar crown. I was a standout in the classroom, too, earning COSIDA Academic All-America honors in 1999 and 2000 as well as being a three-time Academic All-Big Ten pick. I capped my Illini career by receiving the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor in 2000.
Illinois'' Justin Spring scored a 9.737 to capture the parallel bars championship Saturday at the NCAA meet in West Point, N.Y.
It was Spring''s second national title. He won the high bar last year.
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Justin Spring earned All-America honors in the all-around Friday, but the Illinois men''s gymnastics team had to settle for third place in the team competition at the NCAA championships.
Spring scored a career-high 9.9 in the high bar en route to a 55.25 all-around total, good for sixth place overall. He advanced to today''s individual finals on the bar as well as the parallel bars, one of five Illini to compete for individual gold.
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Illinois'' men''s gymnastics team picked a good time to set a school record.
The Illini advanced to today''s team finals at the NCAA championships by winning its six-school preliminary session with a record score of 225.250. Justin Spring led the way, winning the high bar and the parallel bars.
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.