Men's Gymnastics
Eggleston Brings Home Big Ten Floor Title

Valdez placed second on parallel bars and high bar.
Valdez placed second on parallel bars and high bar.

March 29, 2014


LINCOLN, Neb. - The Illini sent four gymnasts to the podium at the Big Ten Individual Event Finals on Saturday afternoon, including Freshman Chandler Eggleston who captured the Big Ten floor exercise title. Eggleston and C.J. Maestas, who finished fourth in Friday's all-around competition earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades, while teammates Chad Mason and Jordan Valdez garnered second-team recognition after placing 3rd on pommel horse, and 2nd on parallel bars and high bar, respectively.

"This was a great finish to a good weekend," said head coach Justin Spring. "We spoke to stuck dismounts and they certainly paid off today. Chandler finished a great floor routine with a huge stick just rocketed him into the lead by almost 4/10 for a huge win. It's incredible for a freshman to rise to the occasion." 

Eggleston posted a career high of 15.725 on floor to notch his sixth title on the season and first career Big Ten title. The Jamestown, N.C. native clinched the first floor title for the Illini at Big Tens since Paul Ruggeri in 2012. This marks the third year in a row that an Illini freshman has brought home a Big Ten title, with Fred Hartville winning on vault in 2013, and C.J. Maestas in the all-around in 2012. Illinois has boasted at least one conference champion in each of the last 12 seasons.

" It's exciting to go out there and win as a freshman," said Eggleston "It's all that I've worked for this year and I'll take this and use the momentum to go in to NCAAs confident."

Jordan Valdez also had a big night for the Orange and Blue, placing second on both parallel bars and high bar. Valdez set a career high of 15.400 on parallel bars, and earned a 15.325 on high bar. Chad Mason started the Illini off on pommel horse, putting up a 14.700 for third place. Joey Peters was the final Illini to qualify for rings finals, placing 10th in a 13.750.

In addition to being named First Team All-Big Ten, Maestas also competed on floor, bringing in a 14.725 for 7th, took home second on rings with a score of 15.265, and was named Illinois' Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship, academic performance and good citizenship.

The sixth-ranked Illini will return to action in two weeks at the NCAA Championships, April 10-12 in Ann Arbor, Mich.


Illinois Individual Event Final Results


1st - Chandler Eggleston (15.725)

7th - C.J. Maestas (14.725)


Pommel Horse

3rd - Chad Mason (14.700)


Still Rings

2nd - C.J. Maestas (15.625)

10th - Joey Peters (13.750)


Parallel Bars

2nd - Jordan Valdez (15.400)


High Bar

2nd - Jordan Valdez (15.325)


First Team All-Big Ten

C.J. Maestas, ILL

Chandler Eggleston, ILL

Sam Mikulak, MICH

Ellis Mannon, MINN

Trevor Howard, PSU

Jake Martin, OSU

Sean Melton, OSU


Second Team All-Big Ten

Chad Mason, ILL

Jordan Vadlez, ILL

Tristian Perez-Rivera, MICH

Paul Rizkalla Jr., MICH

Syque Caesar, MICH

Craig Hernandez, PSU

Robbie Kocks, NEB

Zach Chase, MINN


Big Ten Coach of the Year: Kurt Golder, MICH

Big Ten Freshman of the Year: Sean Melton, OSU

Gymnast of the Year: Sam Mikulak, MICH


Sportsmanship Award Winners

C.J. Maestas, ILL

Mark Springett, IOWA

Adrian de los Angeles, MICH

Yoshi Morinishi, MINN

C.J. Schaaf, NEB

Alex Johnson, OSU

Preston Gall, PSU