Alina Weinstein is the first Illini women's gymnast to be named a finalist for the Honda Award
April 25, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois senior Alina Weinstein has been named one of four finalists for the 2013 Honda Award for gymnastics, honoring the nation's top gymnast. Weinstein becomes the first Illini gymnast to remain in the running for the coveted award.
The other finalists include UCLA's Vanessa Zamarripa, LSU's Rheagan Courville and National Champion Florida's Bridget Sloan. Only two Illini female athletes have ever won the Honda Award, cross country's Angela Bizzarri in 2009-10 and volleyball's Mary Eggers in 1988-89.
Since its inception in 1985, the Honda Sports Award acknowledges athletic achievement as well as scholastics and community involvement, and is given to female athletes in 12 different NCAA sanctioned sports throughout the year. When the winner has been announced, the deserving student-athlete will then be eligible for the Honda Cup, which credits the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
Alina Weinstein has stated that her last year has been a fairytale season, for the senior has etched her name in Illini folklore along the way. The New Jersey native earned the First-Team All-American distinction on floor at the NCAA Championships when she placed first in her session in the event with a 9.9. It was her second NCAA All-American honor in her career.
In addition this season, Weinstein became the first Illini gymnast to secure three regional titles at a single meet, taking the beam, floor and all-around crowns in Morgantown. With the first ever regular season All-American awards distributed this year, Weinstein garnered two such honors, First-Team on floor and Second-Team in the all-around. Furthermore, Weinstein was named Regional Gymnast of the Year, becoming the second Illini to accomplish the feat.
More impressively, Weinstein broke three individual records during her senior campaign. She now holds the top all-around score with a 39.625. Weinstein not only broke the floor record, but also hit her new record twice with a 9.975. Last but not least, Weinstein was the second Illini ever to score a perfect 10.0, capturing the elusive score on vault.