Illini women ranked 23rd

URBANA – The Illinois women's gymnastics team is ranked 23rd in the GymInfo preseason coaches' poll. Bob Starkell's Illini finished last season No. 20, the highest final ranking in the program's history.

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No Masar, no problem for Illinois

ST. PAUL, Minn. – If Illinois is to advance to the title match at the Big Ten women's soccer tournament, it might not have Ella Masar to help.

The UI's All-Big Ten forward missed most of Thursday's shootout win against Minnesota with a hamstring injury. Coach Janet Rayfield said the Urbana product is "pretty questionable" for today's 8 p.m. semifinal against Purdue.

Illini you need to know

Staff writer Jeff Huth spotlights 10 on the University of Illinois campus who deserve your attention:

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Another surgery on the horizon for Spring

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Justin Spring will miss next month's World Championhips after landing awkwardly during a vault attempt and tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Friday night during the U.S. Championships.

The ex-Illini, who has undergone three gymnastics-related surgeries since September 2006, now faces another within the next two weeks.

Spring still hopes all systems go for Olympics after latest injury

Like many boys, Justin Spring wanted to be just like his dad when he grew up.

Of course, how many boys have a father who flew helicopter missions during the Vietnam War? A father who worked for NASA during the 1980s? A father who spent nearly seven days in space in 1985 as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Atlantis? A father who would visit his son's school virtually every year to give presentations on what it's like to be an astronaut?

Illini help U.S. finish seventh

BANGKOK, Thailand – Illinois gymnasts Tyler Yamauchi and Chris Silcox helped the United States men finish seventh out of 18 teams Friday at the World University Games.

Senior-to-be Yamauchi placed seventh in the vault with a 15.900 score. Although the Sugarland, Texas, native was among the top eight – ordinarily good enough to qualify for the event finals Sunday – Yamauchi did not execute at least two different types of vaults, another requirement to advance.

Versatile infielder to play for Hartleb

CHAMPAIGN – Daniel Parker, a second-team all-state shortstop from Kansas, is joining the Illinois baseball team.

Illini coach Dan Hartleb on Tuesday announced the signing of the Lawrence High School graduate to a national letter of intent.

Illinois recruit turns heads

WINDSOR, Ontario – Illinois recruit Danelle Woods won the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Canadian Track and Field Championships on Sunday. Woods, who earlier this month was the steeplechase gold medalist at the Pan American Junior Championships, captured the national title in 10 minutes, 17.24 seconds. The incoming Illini freshman finished 11.78 in front of runner-up Bevin Kennelly.