Sophomore Mike Wilner was one of three Illini to win event titles on Saturday, taking the crown on rings.
Feb. 16, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The seventh-ranked University of Illinois men's gymnastics team came up just short in a 428.450-428.400 battle with No. 8 Iowa in front of a packed house of 2,316 fans during Gym Jam Saturday evening at Huff Hall. Freshman Logan Bradley captured his first career event title with a win on pommel horse, while sophomore Mike Wilner and newcomer Fred Hartville each earned their second titles of 2013 with wins on rings and vault, respectively.
"The crowd was fantastic," head coach Justin Spring said. "But our performance tonight was disappointing. We performed well under our capability. Even when we had hit routines, they weren't great. It was not at all the caliber we expected to compete at. I know the guys and coaching staff are a little frustrated. We lost some energy and just didn't rise to the occasion."
The Illini started the night on floor with a team score of 71.750, paced by Hartville's 14.750, which was good for second place. Junior Alex Varga placed fourth, posting a 14.400, followed by senior Vince Smurro in fifth with a 14.300.
In the second rotation, the Orange and Blue posted a 71.750 on pommel horse and claimed three of the top four spots individually. Bradley won the crown with a 15.250, tying the second-highest Illini pommel horse score of the season. Junior Yoshi Mori took third with a 14.450, while senior Malcolm Brown finished fourth and matched his career high with a 14.300 in his first performance of the year.
Illinois had a solid day on rings, securing a 73.850. Wilner claimed the title, just missing his career high with a 15.500. Freshman Joey Peters placed second (14.700), and junior Cameron Rogers and freshman Max Mayr tied for fifth (14.600).
In the following rotation, the Illini swept the top four spots on vault and posted a season-high team score of 73.150. Hartville picked up his second career title with a 15.100, marking the second-highest vault score for Illinois this season. Sophomore Josh Wilson placed second with a career-best 14.800, followed by Mori in third (14.650) and redshirt freshman Jacob Tilsley in fourth (14.600).
The Illini struggled in the final two rotations, scoring 67.850 on parallel bars and 70.050 on high bar. Rogers led the Illini on parallel bars with a third-place score of 14.450, followed by Mayr in fourth with a 14.350. Mori and Peters tied for third (14.250) on high bar.
Peters finished second in the all-around with an 84.100, while Mori finished fourth with an 83.150.
Illinois will look to bounce back next weekend, taking on No. 5 Ohio State on Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. CT in Columbus, Ohio.