Illini Place Fourth at Big Ten Championships
March 28, 2014
LINCOLN, Neb. - The sixth-ranked Fighting Illini men's gymnastics team came away with a fourth-place finish at the 2014 Big Ten Championships on Friday night at Nebraska's Bob Devaney Sports Center. Michigan took home the title with a 448.200, followed by Ohio State (441.050), Penn State (438.000), Illinois (435.350), Minnesota (429.150), Nebraska (428.150), and Iowa (425.600).
Despite the disappointing finish, redshirt sophomore C.J. Maestas took home the still rings title with his third highest score of the season (15.900). The Corrales, N.M. native will advance to individual event finals, along with four other Illini. The top 10 gymnasts on each event advanced to event finals, which will take place Saturday at 4 p.m. CT.
"This was our season high hit percentage," said head coach Justin Spring. "We had a couple routines that had a few more than just one mistake. This is the post-season and a lot of great teams came to play. You can't make multiple mistakes in routines and think you're still going to be floating at the top at the end of the day. Overall, I'm proud of the guys. They finished strong with high bar and floor but those middle events, vault and parallel bars, really took us out of the game."
The Illini started the night on pommel horse, where they scored 71.750 as a team, the third highest score of the season. Chad Mason led the Orange and Blue with a score of 14.950 on the apparatus for 6th place, closely followed by teammate Jacob Tilsley with a 14.650 in 11th.
Illinois then went on to compete on rings and scored 75.400 as a team, in a season high team performance. C.J. Maestas had a huge performance for the Illini, scoring 15.900 for the title. Joey Peters held the next highest Illini score with a season high of 15.200 to tie for 6th, followed by Andrew Margolis who also had a season high with a 14.950 on the apparatus in 13th.
On vault, the Illini scored 71.900 as a team, with Chandler Eggleston scoring a 14.850 to finish in 12th. C.J. Maestas and Fred Hartville both came out of the rotation with scores of 14.650 to tie for 22nd.
In the next rotation, the Orange and Blue scored 70.200 on parallel bars. Jordan Valdez tied his career high and 4th highest school score with a 15.300 on the apparatus to tie for the No. 5 spot. He was followed by Max Mayr with a 14.350 in 25th.
On high bar, the Illini scored 71.800, the third highest team score of the season. Valdez led the team again, scoring 15.100 to tie for 3rd. He was followed closely by Eggleston (14.700), who came in 10th.
The Orange and Blue finished the night on floor with a score of 74.300, tying the season high. Maestas led the Illini with a season high of 15.500 for the No. 2 slot. Eggleston was the next highest score for the Illini in 4th(15.300), and Joey Peters, in his first floor routine of the season, scored a 14.000.
C.J. Maestas finished fourth in the all-around, with a final score of 87.950.
The five event finalists from Illinois will compete tomorrow at 4 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. Big Ten Network will have live coverage of the competition.
Illinois Team and All-Around Results
2nd: C.J. Maestas (15.500)
4th: Chandler Eggleston (15.300)
T-9th: Alex Varga (14.900)
6th: Chad Mason (14.950)
1st: C.J. Maestas (15.900)
T-5th: Joey Peters (15.200)
12th: Chandler Eggleston (14.850)
T-5th: Jordan Valdez (15.300)
T-3rd: Jordan Valdez (15.100)
T-10th: Chandler Eggleston (14.700)
4th: C.J. Maestas