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Excellence

2012-13 Illinois Athletic Highlights

  • The University of Illinois finished the 2012-13 season in 31st place in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings. Illinois' best finish in the Directors' Cup came in 2008-09, when the Illini were 20th in the final rankings.
  • The Illinois men's golf team placed second at the 2013 NCAA Championships, falling 4-1 to Alabama in the championship match. The Illini finished fifth after 54 holes of stroke play to qualify for the eight-team match-play championship, then knocked off defending NCAA champion Texas and No. 1 California in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. It was the best finish in school history. Illini men's golf also swept the Big Ten postseason awards. Thomas Pieters was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Year, Thomas Detry was named Freshman of the Year and Mike Small was named Coach of the Year. It was Small's fifth-straight Coach of the Year honor.
  • Illinois men's basketball team advanced to the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament, making its 30th all-time appearance in the tournament. The Illini defeated three top-10 teams on the season.
  • The Illinois women's track and field team finished 14th in the nation. Sophomore Ashley Spencer successfully defended her NCAA 400m title at the Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.
  • Illini wrestling ended the season ranked 11th nationally and was ranked as high as fifth in the country. Jesse Delgado won the NCAA and Big Ten championships at 125 pounds.
  • Defending national champions Illinois men's gymnastics turned in another successful season, placing fifth nationally and advancing to the NCAA Team Fiansl for the 11th consecutive season. The team tallied four All-American honors and walk-on Fred Hartville became the first Illini freshman to win the NCAA vault title.
  • Illinois baseball advanced to postseason play and finished with its best record since 2000. Junior Justin Parr shattered the school record with a 33-game hitting streak and became the program's first first-team All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year since 2007.
  • Illini women's gymnastics finished in the top-25 for the eighth-year in a row and Alina Weinstein became the first Illinois gymnast to achieve three regonal crowns at a single NCAA meet. Weinstein earned All-America honors and was named a Honda Award finalist, which celebrates the top 4 gymnasts in the country.

2009 Awards

Big Ten All-Freshman Team

  • Shayla Mutz

2009 NSCAA All-North/Central Region

1st Team

  • Courtney Bell

2nd Team

  • Alexandra Kapicka

3rd Team

  • Danielle Kot
  • Cory Steigerwald

Honorable Mention

  • Krystin Miller

2009 Team Awards

Team MVP

  • Danielle Kot
  • Jackie Santacaterina

Defensive MVP

  • Danielle Kot

Offensive MVP

  • Jordan Hilbrands

Most Improved

  • Kristen Gierman

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