Free food will be provided to the first 1,000 fans at Gym Jam beginning at 6 p.m., and seniors Hannah Welker and Kelsey Joannides will be honored at the conclusion of the meet.
Feb. 28, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois gymnastics teams will host "Gym Jam" presented by FOX 55/27 on Friday, March 2 at Huff Hall, featuring both the Illinois men's and women's gymnastics squads in a double dual. The No. 3 Illini men will have a Big Ten showdown with No. 5 Ohio State, while the No. 21 Illini women will square off against Kentucky.
Admission is free for the meet, which starts at 7 p.m., and free food will be provided for the first 1,000 fans beginning at 6 p.m. The event will feature "Enter to Win" contests for all fans in attendance. Fans also will have the opportunity to get team posters autographed and meet the gymnasts after the conclusion of the meet.
The women's team will compete in its final home dual meet of the season and celebrate Senior Day for Kelsey Joannides and Hannah Welker. The Orange and Blue are 2-0-1 at home this year with victories over Minnesota and Ohio State along with a tie against Michigan State. The Illini are ranked in the top-20 nationally on beam (T-10th), floor (14th) and bars (18th) while sophomore Amber See is tied for eighth in the nation on floor. Joannides, who owns a team-high 13 individual titles, has captured three crowns at each of the past two meets to lead the team, and junior Alina Weinstein earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors following a career-best performance at Michigan.
The third-ranked Illini men are 8-2 to start the season, highlighted by a 349.8-347.7 victory over No. 1 Oklahoma on Jan. 28. The Orange and Blue rank first in the nation on high bar and parallel bars and third on rings. Redshirt senior Paul Ruggeri and freshman C.J. Maestas lead the squad with eight individual titles apiece, as Ruggeri boasts three on both high bar and vault and one on both floor and parallel bars, earning two Big Ten Gymnast of the Week accolades and an NCAA Gymnast of the Week honor this year. Maestas has claimed three all-around crowns, two rings titles and one each on floor, pommel horse and high bar, taking three Big Ten Freshman of the Week awards and both an NCAA and a Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honor in his debut season. The Illini men also will honor their six seniors, including Ruggeri, Tyler Mizoguchi, Kyle Moe, Anthony Sacramento, C.J. Padera and Devin Regan.