Andrew Margolis, Elise Gill and Cole Smith took home the 2011 Mixed Pairs crown.
Dec. 4, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois men and women's gymnastics teams debuted their skills at the annual Mixed Pairs Exhibition Sunday afternoon at Huff Hall. Each group of gymnasts performed their top events, combining the top three scores out of four routines to make up their team total. The trio of junior Elise Gill and sophomores Andrew Margolis and Cole Smith notched perfect 10s on three of four routines to combine for the Mixed Pairs crown with an overall score of 30.
Gill led the way with a pair of 10s on vault and floor while Margolis sealed the victory at the start of the final round with the unblemished score on still rings. They edged the runner-up team of juniors Macy Hyatt, Vince Smurro and Malcolm Brown, who scored a 29.95, by .05 in a closely contested competition. The group of freshman Jacob Tilsley, sophomore Amber See and senior Anthony Sacramento came in third with a total of 29.9.
"This exhibition is really the one time that the guys and girls are able to be involved with one another at a meet," women's head coach Kim Landrus said. "They have a great time running back and forth to cheer for each other and just have fun with it. It is just another step in the process, so we still wanted everyone to come out and simulate a real competition. They did a wonderful job with doing that today."
Members of the Illinois baseball, football, women's golf, men's and women's track, men's and women's tennis and swimming and diving teams were on hand as celebrity judges to evaluate both the men and women using the women's 10-point scoring system in order to add scores systematically to determine the winning group. Twelve gymnasts earned a perfect 10 on the afternoon, including two each from Gill and See.
"Overall, the guys had fun," men's head coach Justin Spring said. "They did their full routines for the most part and did them well. Obviously, we've got some work to do, but overall, it was a good showing for us. I think it was a little bit of an eye opener. It's the first time the guys were able to go out and hit their routines in front of a crowd, so it's an indication of who's ready."
The women's regular season competition begins on Saturday, Jan. 14 in Champaign against No. 22 Minnesota, while the men will kick off their season on Jan. 14 at the Windy City Invitational in Chicago. The men's home opener is slated for Jan. 28, when the second-ranked Illini will take on No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 3 Michigan at Huff Hall.