Valdez Brings Home NCAA High Bar Title
April 12, 2014
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Illini sent six gymnasts to event finals and came home with ten new All-Americans Saturday night in Michigan's Crisler Center, including Jordan Valdez who took home the NCAA high bar title. Chandler Eggleston earned All-America honors on floor exercise, C.J. Maestas on floor, still rings, and the all-around, Chad Mason and Logan Bradley on pommel horse, Mike Wilner on still rings, and Jordan Valdez on both parallel bars and high bar.
"I'm still speechless," Valdez said. "It hasn't sunk in yet. I'm just waiting to wake up and still be standing at the chalk blocks waiting to start my routine."
Valdez put up the third-highest high bar score of his season with a 15.525 to claim the title. This win puts Valdez in the No. 6 spot for high bar season titles in all of Illini gymnastics history and is his second consecutive All-American accolade on high bar. The last Illini to bring home the national high bar title was Paul Ruggeri, making Valdez the first champion in five years. This is the ninth high bar title for the men's gymnastics team.
"It was an outstanding finish to a really great weekend," said head coach Justin Spring. "The guys that earned their way into finals certainly proved that they deserved to be there. Everyone finished strong and finished well. I think that the accolades speak for themselves."
The Illini brought home two runners-up who were just tenths of a point away from being national champions. Maestas placed second on still rings with a score of 15.725, and placed third on floor (15.150). Eggleston brought home two second place finishes on floor exercise (15.400) and on vault (15.225).
Overall the Illini had a solid night, with every competing gymnast making it to the podium. Bradley and Mason both had a big day on pommel horse, coming home with 6th and 8th place respectively (14.675, 14.100). Junior Wilner finished sixth on still rings for his second consecutive All-America honors (15.100).
The top eight gymnasts on each event received All-America honors. The Illini totaled ten All-Americans throughout the 2014 NCAA Championships, including nine in event finals and one during Saturday's all-around final (RS Sophomore C.J. Maestas). Illinois has produced at least one All-American in each of the last 18 seasons.
Illinois Individual Event Final Results
2nd - Chandler Eggleston (15.400)*
3rd - C.J. Maestas (15.150)*
6th - Logan Bradley (14.675)*
8th - Chad Mason (14.100)*
2nd - C.J. Maestas (15.725)*
6th - Mike Wilner (15.100)*
2nd - Chandler Eggleston (15.225)*
5th - Jordan Valdez (15.100)*
1st - Jordan Valdez (15.525)*