#4 Illini Fall to #7 Minnesota
Feb. 1, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. - The fourth-ranked Fighting Illini men's gymnastics team took down No. 10 Nebraska (420.700), but fell to No. 7 Minnesota (435.000) Saturday evening at the Devaney Center with a score of 432.700. As a team, the Illini won on pommel horse (70.150) still rings (75.100), and high bar (71.900).
"The meet was disappointing," Said head coach Justin Spring. "We only had a 48% hit ratio, and we need to compete more confidently. We were still in the fight at the end, but we really gave it away on our last event, parallel bars."
Chandler Eggleston set the season high on floor, taking the title with 15.450. This is the fourth straight floor title Eggleston has won this season. Alex Varga took the only other top five finish on floor exercise for the Illini, tying for second with a score of 15.100, his season high.
On pommel horse, the Illini took three of the top five spots, with Matt Foster taking the title with a score of 14.550. Cole Smith followed in second with a 14.200, and Jake Tilsley closed out the top five with 14.000.
Illinois took the top two spots on still rings, C.J. Maestas earning the title with a score of 16.050, breaking the individual Illinois record of 15.900, originally set by Mike Wilner against Penn State in 2013, and setting a career high. Wilner came in second with a score of 15.450, his season high.
"C.J. was the gymnast of the day," Said Spring. "He stepped up for his first time competing all-around since 2012 Olympic Trials and coming back from his injury. He needed experience for winter cup and stepped up today. It's very fitting that he holds the Illinois record and it is well deserved."
On vault, Chandler Eggleston was the only Illini to score in the top five and took home his second title of the night, scoring 15.200 for his third vault title of the season.
Jordan Valdez continued his success on high bar this season, taking the title with a score of 15.350. Eggleston and Joey Peters took fourth and fifth, respectively, with scores of 14.500 and 14.400. Both gymnasts surpassed their season high scores.
C.J. Maestas scored 85.400 in his season debut in all-around. This was the first all-around Maestas has competed in since the 2012 seaon.
The Illini return to action next weekend in Iowa City, Iowa, where they will take on the Hawkeyes Friday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. CT.