Junior Alina Weinstein will represent Illinois at the NCAA Championships on Friday and look to earn All-America honors for the second year in a row.
April 18, 2012
Weinstein to Represent Illinois at Nationals
Junior Alina Weinstein will travel to the NCAA Championships this weekend in Duluth, Ga., after punching her ticket to nationals with a victory in the all-around at the NCAA Champaign Regional. Weinstein, who scored a career-high 39.450 to win the title, will compete at the national meet for the second year in a row. Last season, she earned second-team All-America honors on floor while helping the Illini to their best national finish (11th) in program history. Weinstein also tied for first on beam with a career-high 9.900 at this year's regional, making her the second Illini ever to win multiple regional titles, as she shares that honor with Nancy Thies, who won a combined seven crowns from 1976-77.
Weinstein, who will rotate with Nebraska, is set to compete in Session I on Friday, April 20 (11 a.m. CT) at the NCAA Championships, which are being hosted by the Gwinnett Center and Georgia Tech. The top four individuals including ties on each event from Friday's competition will move onto Sunday's event finals (12 p.m. CT). The individual all-around crown will be decided on Friday by combining the the scores from the two sessions. To earn All-America status, an individual must finish in the top eight on an event or in the all-around, with the top four earning first team honors and the next four picking up second team honors. The top three teams from each Friday session will advance to the Super Six team finals on Saturday, April 21 (3 p.m. CT).
Friday, April 20 - Team Semifinals and All-Around Finals
11 a.m. (CT) - Session I - UCLA, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Utah, Stanford, LSU
5 p.m. (CT) - Session II - Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Oregon State, Ohio State
Saturday, April 21 - Super Six Team Final - 3 p.m. (CT)
* Top three teams from each of Friday's sessions
Sunday, April 22 - Individual Event Finals - 12 p.m. (CT)
** Top four individuals on each event (plus ties) from each of Friday's sessions
Live Stats and Streaming Information
Live stats and live video of Friday's semifinal sessions will be available via ncaa.com and are linked above. The Super Six Team Finals and Individual Event Finals will be broadcast live by ESPN3, while a tape-delayed program showcasing the championships is set to air Wednesday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
Weinstein to Rotate with Nebraska During Afternoon Session
In a random draw conducted by the NCAA, Weinsetin will be rotating with Nebraska in Session I. The Corn Huskers will rotate as follows: bars, beam, bye, floor, vault, bye. A full rotation schedule can be found HERE.
Illinois History at the National Championships
Junior Alina Weinstein is the 10th Illini to qualify individually for nationals since the NCAA began sponsoring the event in 1982. Prior to 1982, when nationals were sponsored by the AIAW, Illinois had five individuals compete at the national meet. As a team, the Illini have qualified for the NCAA Championships twice in school history, including appearances in 2009 (12th) and 2011 (11th).
Illinois gymnasts have earned 11 All-America honors in school history, including a school-record six laurels a year ago. Nancy Thies was an AIAW All-American in 1976 on the uneven bars, while Allison Buckley was the first NCAA All-American in school history in 2008 when she earned second-team honors on the balance beam. In 2009, a pair of gymnasts were All-Americans, as Melissa Fernandez became the school's first first-team selection on beam and Sarah Schmidt was named to the second team on floor. Last season, Fernandez collected a program-record three accolades, leading the way with a pair of first-team All-America honors on beam and in the all-around along with a second-team nod on floor. Buckley and Weinstein were also second-team All-Americans on floor, while Kelsey Joannides garnered the distinction on vault for placing among the top eight in the session.
Illini Place Third at NCAA Regional
Junior Alina Weinstein earned a trip to the NCAA Championships after winning the all-around title at the NCAA Champaign Regional with a career-high score of 39.450. The Plainsboro, N.J., native led No. 22 Illinois to a third-place finish with a total of 195.725, as the Illini finished behind No. 2 Oklahoma (197.025) and No. 11 Stanford (196.675) to come up one spot short of advancing to nationals for the second-straight year. Illinois, which hosted its first-ever regional at the Assembly Hall, will be represented at the national meet for the fifth year in a row.
Weinstein, who also tied for first on beam with a career-high 9.900, became just the second Illini to win multiple regional titles, sharing that honor with Nancy Thies, who won a combined seven crowns from 1976-77. She was also just the second regional all-around champion from Illinois along with Thies and the fourth individual event champion in program history, joining Thies, Allison Buckley (2009-10) and Cara Pomeroy (2004) with that distinction. Weinstein hit all four routines on vault (9.850), bars (9.825), beam (9.900) and floor (9.875) to equal the fifth-best all-around score in school history of 39.450.
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