NORMAN, Okla. — Most of his roster wasn't born when the Illinois men's gymnastics team last won a national championship in 1989. But coach Justin Spring said his athletes have been aware of the tradition and expectations that come with pulling on an Illinois uniform since they arrived on campus.
URBANA — Tied 3-3 in a Big Ten dual with Indiana, the Illinois women's tennis team turned to senior Marisa Lambropoulos.
On Senior Day at the Atkins Tennis Center, Lambropoulos delivered.
She defeated Indiana's Katie Klyczek 6-3, 6-7 (9-11), 6-2 to clinch the win for the 21st-ranked Illini (16-6, 8-2 Big Ten).
NORMAN, Okla. — Illinois rallied in its final two events to pass No. 1 Oklahoma on Friday night and win its first NCAA men’s gymnastics title since 1989.
Led by U.S. Senior National Team members Paul Ruggeri and C.J. Maestes, Illinois posted a team score of 358.85, 1.4 points better than Oklahoma, which failed to win the national title in its home arena.
NORMAN, Okla. — If Justin Spring's Illini compete tonight like they did on Thursday, they will be bringing home an NCAA title.
"If we're going to be the team that wins, we're going to have to do a little bit better," Spring said.
Illinois is seeking its first NCAA team title since 1989.
URBANA — The news brought C.J. Maestas to tears.
The most coveted college gymnastics recruit in the nation had just been informed that, for the fourth time, he'd fallen short on his ACT test score. At that point, a pained Maestas could no longer hold in his emotions.
"I was giving everything I had; it just wasn't happening," the Illinois freshman said.
The collegiate gymnastics season wraps up this week with both Illini teams represented in the NCAA Championships. Staff writer Jeff Huth offers three storylines:
Illinois' Paul Ruggeri won the Nissen-Emery Award, the gymnastics equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. The award is given to the top senior male gymnast. Ruggeri joins David Zeddies (1989), current coach Justin Spring (2006) and Luke Stannard (2010) as the only Illini to ever win the award, which was first given in 1966.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The accolades keep pouring in for the Illinois men's gymnastics team. A night after the Illini won their fourth straight Big Ten championship, Justin Spring was honored as the conference's Coach of the Year for the third straight year and C.J. Maestas was named the Big Ten's Freshman of the Year as well as Gymnast of the Year.
Photos from the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Regional Championship at the Assembly Hall in Champaign, IL. Saturday, April 7, 2012.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It wasn't perfect, but they'll take it. Justin Spring's Illinois men's gymnastics team claimed its fourth straight Big Ten championship, outlasting runner-up Penn State 352.950-350.000 on Friday at Iowa. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 1 in the country.