Illini Honor Seniors and Award Winners at 2001 Gymnastics Banquet
April 29, 2001
Champaign, Ill. - The 2001 Illinois men's and women's gymnastics teams capped off their seasons Sunday afternoon at the Gymnastics Award Banquet at the Hawthorn Suites in Champaign.
Men's head coach Yoshi Hayasaki presented letters to 14 athletes, including five fourth-year letter winners. Three seniors finished their careers by winning awards. Eric Nishimoto received the Fighting Illini Attitude Award. Winning Most Outstanding Men's Gymnast was two-time All-American Leo Oka. Jonathan Ham was named the Most Valuable Gymnast after making a comeback to the sport from a potential career-ending neck injury he suffered on high bar during high school. Freshman Erik Garnett won the Scholar-Athlete Award for the highest GPA on the team while fellow freshman Scott Wetterling received the Most Improved Gymnast honors.
Head Coach Bob Starkell awarded 12 letters to his women's team. Two gymnasts received two awards. Senior Jennifer Barrett won two awards, Most Improved and Most Valuable Gymnasts while sophomore Jana Gallagher took the Most Consistent Beam Performer and Most Outstanding Gymnast. Barrett tied senior Phaedra Dixon for the Most Improved Gymnast award after making a comeback to competition from a torn Achilles tendon Dixon suffered in the preseason. Rounding out the women's awards was senior Lisa Pellegrinetti, who received the Scholar-Athlete Award.
Looking ahead to next season, junior Bob Spelic will be the captain of the 2002 men's team while the women will wait until next fall to decide who will lead their squad.