Women's Gymnastics
Three Illini Earn All-Big Ten Honors

Senior Kelsey Joannides was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree for the first time in her career.
Senior Kelsey Joannides was named a first-team All-Big Ten honoree for the first time in her career.

March 19, 2012

PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Three Illini earned All-Big Ten honors, announced Monday by the conference office. Senior Kelsey Joannides was named to the first team, while junior Alina Weinstein and sophomore Amber See garnered second-team All-Big Ten honors. Seeding for the Big Ten Championships also was announced, as the Illini will be the No. 6 seed competing in the afternoon session at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, March 24 at 1:05 p.m.

"The All-Big Ten accolades are a testament of how hard these three gymnasts have worked throughout the season to be able to be among the best in the conference," head coach Kim Landrus said. "It is such a great reward for them personally, and it shows that our team is continuing to be a force in the Big Ten."

The All-Conference teams feature the top-six performers in the all-around and the top six in each of the four events, based on regional qualifying average. The Big Ten Championships seeds were determined by the teams' regional qualifying average and dictate which session each team competes in at this weekend's conference championships meet.

Joannides, who was a first-team honoree for the first time, notched her third career All-Big Ten laurel after also being named to the second team in 2009 and 2011. The Frederick, Md., native is ranked third in the conference on beam (9.890) and fourth in the all-around (39.290). She is the squad's top all-arounder with eight scores over 39, including twice matching her career high of 39.375. Her top event is balance beam, where she is tied for sixth in the nation and equaled the fourth-best beam score in school history with a 9.925. She has hit 41-of-42 routines on the year and owns a team-high 18 individual titles, which is the fifth-most in a single season in program history.

"Kelsey has been having a great year," Landrus said. "She continues to come in on game day and compete up to her potential every single weekend. It is a great recognition for her as she finishes up her impressive career as an Illini."

Junior Alina Weinstein picked up second-team All-Big Ten honors for the first time.

Weinstein was recognized by the conference for the first time in her career with the second-team nod after ranking fifth in the Big Ten in the all-around (39.260). The Plainsboro, N.J., native has tallied seven scores over 39 in the all-around, which includes two of the top-10 scores in school history with a personal-best 39.425 (No. 7) and a 39.400 (No. 10). She also is second on the team with 12 individual titles and set career highs on vault (9.875), beam (9.875) and floor (9.900).

"Alina just continues to get better," Landrus said. "Her junior year is definitely not the end, so it is exciting for her moving forward. She is such an exceptional athlete, and has really had a strong showing this year."

Sophomore Amber See was among the best in the conference on floor and tabbed second-team All-Big Ten.

See nabbed second-team honors after tying for the fourth-best RQS on floor (9.885) in the Big Ten. The Minnetonka, Minn., native has won a team-high six floor titles and scored a 9.825 or higher on floor at 10 of 11 meets. She is third on the team with 11 individual titles and tied the second-best vault score in school history with a personal-best 9.925. She also turned in career highs on bars (9.825) and beam (9.850) and competed in the all-around five times, highlighted by a career-best 39.175.

"Amber always brings her game face to competitions," Landrus said. "She really does `wow' gymnastics, so this is a nice recognition of her success at the start of her career. We are really excited about a bright future for her."

The Illini were one of four teams to pick up a first-team selection along with Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska, which had four first-teamers. A full list of conference honorees can be found below along with a complete list of championships seedings. The Big Ten Network will air the Big Ten Championships live with Lisa Byington and Kylee Kolarik on the call.

2012 Women's Gymnastics All-Conference Teams

Kelsey Joannides, ILL
Jessie DeZiel, NEB
Lora Evenstad, NEB
Janelle Giblin, NEB
Emily Wong, NEB
Sarah Miller, OSU
Sharaya Musser, PSU

Amber See, ILL
Alina Weinstein, ILL
Tesla Cox, IOWA
Katie Zurales, MICH
Taira Neal, MSU
Jamie Schleppenbach, NEB
Whitney Bencsko, PSU
Madison Merriam, PSU

Big Ten Championships Seeding

Afternoon Session - 1:05 p.m. CT
5. Michigan
6. Illinois
7. Iowa
8. Michigan State

Evening Session - 6:05 p.m. CT
1. Nebraska
2. Penn State
3. Ohio State
4. Minnesota