Women's Gymnastics

Sunny Kato
Sunny Kato


Chino Hills, Calif.

High School:
Newport Harbor



Team OC Gymnastics


45 Illini Recognized as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars

Student-Athletes Honored for Earning GPAs of 3.7 or Higher, Including Seven 4.0 GPAs at Illinois


Blue Wins Orange and Blue Exhibition

Blue Wins for Second-Straight Year


Illinois Gymnastics Set for Orange & Blue Exhibition

Men & Women to debut in Huff Hall Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m.


Weinstein Advances to Floor Final, Illini Finish 11th in Country

Weinstein tied for first on floor with a 9.9


NCAA Championships Await #16 Illini

Illinois reaching NCAA's for third time in past five years


Illinois Women's Gymnastics - Pink Meet vs. Iowa

Illini Women's Gym pictures from the Pink Meet vs. Iowa on Jan. 31 inside Huff Hall.


Illinois Women's Gymnastics at the NCAA Championships

Illini women's gymnastics team competed at the NCAA Championships in Los Angeles, California.


2014 - Junior: Competed in every meet on bars and beam, hitting 25-of-28 routines ...Won the team's Most Outstanding Gymnast Award ... Minneapolis Regional Champion on bars, achieving a new career high of 9.925 in the process (tied the fourth highest of all-time at Illinois) ... Also set a new career high of 9.925 on beam, tying the second highest score in school history ... First-Team All-Big Ten selection ... Ranked fifth in the Big Ten on beam (T-27th Nationally) with a 9.87 RQS and third on bars (T-24th Nationally) with a 9.895 RQS ... Led the team with 11 individual titles, including six on bars and five on beam ... Scored a 9.9 or higher eight times ... Hit at least a 9.875 on bars in four of the final five meets and only dropped below a 9.8 just three times on beam ... Academic All-Big Ten ... Scholastic All-American ... Chi Alpha Sigma inductee.

2013 - Sophomore: Second-Team All-Big Ten ...Competed in every meet on bars and beam ... Led the team on beam with a 9.85 at the NCAA Championships ... Delivered a crucial 9.875 on beam at the Morgantown Regional in what was the final apparatus ... Earned the second most individual titles on the team with four, two on beam and two on bars ... Set career highs of 9.9 on both bars and beam... Most Consistent Beam award winner ... Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree ... Academic All-Big Ten... Nominated for the Fighting Illini Spirit Award.

2012 - Freshman:
Did not compete ... Was awarded Scholastic All-American.

High School/Club: Two-time JO Level 10 National Qualifier ... Five-time JO Level 10 Regional Qualifier ... 2010 JO Level 10 State bar champion ... 2007 JO Level 10 National bar champion ... All-Around champion at the 2006 Pre-Elite US Challenge ... Received her high school's Academic Excellence Award for earning a GPA over 4.0 ... Was part of her high school's College Prep and Veterinarian Mentor Program ... Competed for Team OC... Coached by Brent Gohres and Gaby Shirazi.

Personal: Born Dec. 23, 1992 ... Daughter of Sami and Joe Kato ... Has one sister, Milky ... Says she chose Illinois because "The team chemistry is amazing and we aren't just a team, we're a family. On top of that, the campus is beautiful, the education is one of the best, and the gymnastics program just keeps on growing and improving. Illinois has the potential to be in the top 12 spots every year, and the fight and drive to be in the top spots is the reason why I chose Illinois." ... Majoring in Communications.

Sunny's Career Highs
Bars - 9.925 (at Minneapolis Regional, 4/5/14)
Beam - 9.925 (vs. Lindenwood, 3/8/14)

Sunny's Career Titles
Bars: 8
Beam: 7
Total: 15

The Kato File

How you would describe Illinois' campus in five words or less: Beautiful campus with wonderful people

Fondest memory of Kenney Gym: Playing games in Kenney Gym with my future teammates during my recruiting visit.

Number one thing you learned from your coaches last season: In the end it comes down to how mentally tough you are.

What went through your head when you realized you advanced to Nationals: Daddy and mommy, I'm coming home!

Best memory from NCAA Championships: Having my friends and family watch me compete at NCAA's.

Best memory from LA (outside of competing):Enjoying the nice warm sun!

What recent alum you miss the most and what you learned from her: Kelsey Joannides and Hannah Welker - They taught me to love my freshmen and take care of them. My class was lucky to have these two girls as our seniors and no one could ever take that away from us.

Fondest team activity memory outside of competing: Football games with the girls

Favorite Illini sporting event to attend outside your own: Basketball

Favorite guilty pleasure food item: Cookies

Favorite gymnastics event to end a meet on: Beam

Favorite opponent to compete against and why: University of Michigan because I want to beat them!

Favorite movie from last year: The Vow

Favorite show on TV right now: Orange is the New Black

Favorite hobby outside of sports: Crafting

Favorite color and number: Pink and 35

Favorite dance craze (wobble, cupid shuffle, etc.): Country Line Dancing

Favorite building on the quad and why: Lincoln Hall because all my classes are located there.

Favorite vacation spot: Home

Favorite class you've taken and why: Public Policy Communication because I had a great professor.

Favorite person to follow on twitter and why: Future Illinois teammates because they are all so excited to come to Illinois and be a part of the team. They all have so much Illini spirit!

Favorite summertime and winter activity: Laying out / Sleeping

Dream you would like to accomplish in your lifetime: Start my own care facility for stray animals.

What is a hidden talent of yours: Excellent snowball maker

Quote you live by: "When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile."

Name 3 things on your future bucket list: Live in Africa with the wild animals, visit the Coral Reefs, and see the Northern Lights