#4 Illinois Heads to #7 Minnesota this Weekend
Jan. 30, 2014
The fourth-ranked Fighting Illini men’s gymnastics team will travel to Minneapolis, Minn., this weekend to take on No. 7 Minnesota and No. 10 Nebraska on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. The Illini lead the all-time series against Minnesota 146-92, and have continued their success this season, beating the Gophers at the Windy City Invitational. Illinois also leads the all-time series against Nebraska 30-24. Saturday will be their first meeting of the 2014 season.
SCOUTING THE COMPETITION
Looking at the GymInfo season average rankings, Minnesota holds the No. 7 spot with an average score of 426.225. The squad checks in at No. 4 on parallel bars (72.000), No. 5 on vault (73.225), No. 6 on floor (71.550), No. 8 on still rings (72.100) and high bar (68.625), and No. 11 on pommel horse (68.725). Individually, Ellis Mannon leads the Gophers, holding the runner up slot for pommel horse (15.450) and the No. 5 position in all around. Steffen Beck also holds a spot on the pommel horse rankings, coming in at ten (14.650). Zach Chase holds the runner-up position on vault (15.200) and Steve Jaciuk comes in at No. 10 on parallel bars.
Nebraska is ranked at ninth, with an average score of 422.175. The Huskers as a team come in at No. 4 on still rings (73.075), No. 5 on pommel horse (70.850), No 8. on parallel bars, No. 9 on floor (70.100), and No. 10 on vault (70.925). Individually, Eric Schyver and Ethan Lottman are tied for 6th on pommel horse, and Robbie Kocks holds the No. 5 spot on still rings.
ILLINI IN THE RANKINGS
The Illini are ranked eighth in the national team rankings with an average score of 424.867 and fourth in the coaches poll. Illinois holds positions in the top ten of all six events, coming in at No. 4 on vault (73.250), No. 6 on pommel horse (70.617), No. 7 on floor (71.267) and still rings (72.150), No 9. on high bar (68.450), and No. 10 on parallel bars (70.133).
Individually, Chandler Eggleston is No. 3 on vault with a score of 15.183. Eggleston is also ranked No. 5 on floor exercise (15.150). C.J. Maestas holds the four spot on rings (15.450), Fred Hartville sits at No. 4 on vault (15.100), Joey Peters is ranked No. 2 on parallel bars (15.000), and Jordan Valdez is No. 1 on high bar (15.000). Overall, the Illini hold eleven spots on the top-20 lists.
LAST TIME OUT
The Fighting Illini hosted and defeated Ohio State last weekend, 428.450-425.450. Chandler Eggleston took home his third floor exercise title and second vault title with scores of 15.300 and 15.100, respectively. C.J. Maestas captured his second still rings title of the season, putting him at No. 9 in the all-time rings titles at Illinois. Jordan Valdez earned his third title of the season on high bar with a score of 15.200. Cameron Rogers, competing in all-around for the first time since 2011, took home the title with a score of 81.650. The Illini took home thirteen other top-five finishes.
BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
For the third week in a row, Chandler Eggleston was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Jan. 27 after capturing the vault and floor exercise titles against OSU as well as setting a season high on floor with a 15.300. This marks the first Illini men’s gymnast to be named Freshman of the Week in three consecutive weeks.
The Illini return to action next weekend in Iowa City, Iowa, where they will take on the Hawkeyes Friday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. CT.