Sophomore Jordan Valdez captured titles on high bar and parallel bars Saturday night.
Feb. 11, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The second-ranked Fighting Illini men's gymnastics team took down No. 13 UIC, 339.000-329.000, Saturday night at Huff Hall. Orange and Blue gymnasts captured the crown on four of six events and in the all-around, while the team was victorious on floor (57.600), rings (58.500), parallel bars (55.800) and high bar (56.200).
"It was a very different lineup today," Illinois head coach Justin Spring said. "We got to see how everyone handled the pressure of being in the situation. I expected a little bit better routines from some guys. As much as we did rest certain people today, we still had guys competing who are going to be in our lineup when we're at Big Tens and NCAAs."
Junior Yoshi Mori led the Illini, capturing his first titles of the season with first-place finishes in the all-around (81.800) and on floor (15.000), matching his career high on that event. The Irvine, Calif., native also finished second on high bar (14.000) and tied for third on vault (13.900).
Meanwhile, sophomore Jordan Valdez claimed his first two titles of the season as well, posting a career-high 15.100 to secure the high bar crown and a 14.300 to win on parallel bars for the first time in his career. The Louisville, Colo., native also tied Mori for third on vault.
Senior Kyle Moe rounded out the Illini event-winners with a victory on rings (15.000), edging freshman C.J. Maestas (14.900), who took second, and sophomore Andrew Margolis and freshman Michael Wilner, who tied for fourth (14.300).
Junior transfer Vince Smurro finished second on floor with a 14.600, marking his highest score on that event as an Illini. The Manasquan, N.J., native also took fourth on parallel bars (13.400) and fifth on high bar (13.500), while senior C.J. Padera finished second on parallel bars (14.100) and fourth on floor (14.200).
Sophomore Chad Mason also posted a high finish for the Orange and Blue, taking third on pommel horse (14.200). Classmate Cameron Rogers finished third on parallel bars (14.000) and fifth on both floor (13.800) and pommel horse (14.100), while senior Devin Regan took fourth on high bar (13.600).
The Illini will travel to Penn State next weekend to take on the No. 3 Nittany Lions on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 6 p.m. CT.