Ex-Illini's team shines

CHAMPAIGN – Last year he helped Illinois reach an NCAA regional. Now Kurt Hettinger's contributing to a much younger gymnastics team.

Starkell has 'interim' removed from title

Bob Starkell, who has served as interim head coach of the Illinois women's gymnastics team this season, was named head coach Tuesday, athletic director Ron Guenther announced.

Illini men raise bar; women treat coach

CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois men's gymnastics team scored its highest total of the season in a 225.825-220.825 Big Ten victory against Michigan State on Saturday at Huff Hall.

The Illini, ranked fifth nationally, controlled the meet against the No. 10 Spartans to improve to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the Big Ten.

UI signs Junior Elite gymnast

Kara Kapernekas of Immaculate Heart of Mary High School signed a national letter of intent with the Illinois women's gymnastics team Tuesday.

UI's Oka misses All-America cut

LINCOLN, Neb. – Illinois sophomore Leo Oka finished in seventh place on still rings Saturday at the NCAA men's gymnastics championships at Nebraska.

The top six finishers in each event earned All-America status.

UI gymnasts show growth at regional

CHAMPAIGN – For a school that isn't sending its men's gymnastics team to nationals, Illinois sure has some major travel arrangements to make.

Missing by one spot of qualifying as a team for the NCAA Championships, the fourth-place Illini still advanced six individuals Saturday night during the East Regionals at Huff Hall.

Wiechmann bright spot for Illinois

LINCOLN, Neb. – Gina Wiechmann placed fifth in the all-around and Kim Berres was fifth in the balance beam but Illinois didn't survive the team cut at Saturday's NCAA Region 3 women's gymnastics championships at Nebraska.

The Illini, making their second consecutive postseason appearance, finished fifth with 193.1 points. Michigan won, followed by Nebraska.

Oka corrals talent

CHAMPAIGN – Leo Oka wasn't alone in the gym. It just felt that way.

"I started out with two other people my age, but they eventually quit," the Illinois gymnast said, recalling his years in a club program in Toronto. "The rest were smaller kids. I was basically training by myself.

NCAA gym dandies

Illinois gymnasts capture birth

The University of Illinois women's gymnastics team has earned a berth in the Region III Championships, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

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