Women's Gymnastics
Four Illini Announced to All-Big Ten Teams

Giana O'Connor and Sunny Kato were first-time recipients of the All-Big Ten honors
Giana O'Connor and Sunny Kato were first-time recipients of the All-Big Ten honors

March 19, 2013

Big Ten Release

PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Four Illini were announced to the all-conference teams on Monday by the Big Ten. Senior Alina Weinstein was awarded first team honors for the first time in her career, while junior Amber See, sophomore Sunny Kato and freshman Giana O'Connor all secured second team accolades. In addition, the conference officially released their seeding for the Big Ten Championships this Saturday, March 23, with the Illini competing in the afternoon session at 12:05 p.m. CT as the No. 5 seed. 

Fifteen gymnasts earned first-team honors after finishing the regular season ranked in the top eight of at least one event. Meanwhile, the Big Ten Championships seeds were determined by the teams' regional qualifying score and thus the seeds dictated which session each team would compete in. 

Weinstein earns her second career All-Big Ten honors after being named to the second team in 2012. The senior has undoubtedly saved her best season for last, for in the past month alone she has broken the Illinois records on floor (9.975), vault (10.0) and the all-around (39.625). In addition, her perfect 10 was just the second in Illini history. Weinstein also ranks seventh in the country in the all-around and more impressively, third on floor. 

Amber See grabbed her second straight second team All-Big Ten laurel. The junior's best event this season is floor where she is tied for sixth in the Big Ten with a RQS of 9.885. At the last home meet on March 10, See became one of seven gymnasts at Illinois to score a 9.950 on floor, which set a new career high for the Minnetonka, Minn. native. Speaking of new career highs, See also established a new mark in the all-around with a 39.325. 

Next up are first time winners in sophomore Sunny Kato and freshman Giana O'Connor. Kato, who is in her first year of competition for the Illini, has been instrumental for the Orange and Blue on bars and beam. The Chino Hills, Calif. native has set career highs of 9.9 on both events while also earning two individual titles on both as well. Furthermore, her four overall titles stands as the second most on the team. 

O'Connor has been a constant all-around force for the Illini in 2013. The freshman has scored above a 39 in the previous five meets, including scoring a new career high of 39.275. The Streamwood, Ill. native has also been named Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice, thus joining teammate Amber See as the only Illini to capture the freshman of the week honor twice in a season. Giana currently ranks eighth in the conference in the all-around and 36th in the nation. 

The full list of conference honorees can be found below along with the complete list of championships seedings. Saturday's Big Ten Championships occur inside the Jenison Field House in East Lansing, Mich. and will air live on Big Ten Network with Lisa Byington on the call. 

Alina Weinstein, ILL
Brittnee Martinez, MICH
Joanna Sampson, MICH
Sachi Sugiyama, MICH
Katie Zurales, MICH
Shannon Golich, MINN
Lindsay Mable, MINN
Kylie Schermann, MINN
Jessie DeZiel, NEB
Janelle Giblin, NEB
Jennifer Lauer, NEB
Emily Wong, NEB
Sarah Miller, OSU
Madison Merriam, PSU
Sharaya Musser, PSU

Sunny Kato, ILL
Giana O’Connor, ILL
Amber See, ILL
Natalie Beilstein, MICH
Shelby Gies, MICH
Taira Neal, MSU
Kayla Slechta, MINN
Brittany Skinner, NEB
Alyssa Marohn, OSU
Melanie Shaffer, OSU


Afternoon Session – 12:05 p.m. CT
5. Illinois
6. Ohio State
7. Iowa
8. Michigan State

Evening Session – 5:05 p.m. CT
1. Michigan
2. Nebraska
3. Minnesota
4. Penn State