UI men short on attention, long on talent

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.

Illini among elite at national event

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.

Men''s gymnasts stay No. 2

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.

Illini gymnasts ranked 25th

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.

Women gymnasts rated 18th

Bob Starkell''s Illini women''s gymnastics team is ranked 18th in the first GymInfo Top 25 poll of the regular season.

A weekly chat with Tony Bleill

This week''s guest: gymnast Adamm Pummer.

A weekly chat with Tony Bleill

This week''s guest: gymnast Kara Kapernekas.

Spring, Alcia tops at UI

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.

Spring falls back in Olympic attempt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Illinois'' Justin Spring finished fourth in the high bar Friday night at the U.S. Gymnastics National Championships, but the effort wasn''t enough to make the Olympic Trials.

Spring''s 9.625 showing on the bar moved him up a spot in the event, but he missed his best opportunity to advance when he struggled in the vault.

Spring leading U.S. vaulters

NASHVILLE, Tenn. On Friday, Justin Spring will try to become Illinois'' first U.S. national champion when he completes the vault finals at the U.S. Gymnastics National Championships in Nashville, Tenn.

Spring scored a 9.7 on his Kasamatsu 1 1/2 vault on Wednesday to take the lead.