Nov. 12, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois head women's gymnastics coach Kim Landrus released the 2013 schedule today which features seven top-25 opponents from a year ago. This season features four home meets in Champaign with an additional meet, the Illinois Classics, right up I-57 in Chicago. Last year, the Orange and Blue finished with a No. 18 national ranking and produced an NCAA National Individual qualifier in Alina Weinstein.
Keeping to the annual tradition, the Illini will once again join the men's squad in the annual Mixed Pairs Exhibition on Sunday, Dec. 9 before officially kicking off their 2013 campaign.
Illinois starts their season on the road for two straight weeks. First off, the Illini travel to Tucson to take on Arizona, Stanford and San Jose State Jan. 12, before traveling to Ann Arbor to clash with Big Ten rival Michigan on Jan. 19. Illinois concludes the month at home for their first meet in Champaign when they host Michigan State on Jan. 26.
The Orange and Blue then hit the road for another two-week stint. The first stop is the 2012 Big Ten Champion Nebraska on Feb. 1, followed by Minnesota on Feb. 9. The Illini's lone home meet for the month is Feb. 16 when the Iowa Hawkeyes come to town. Finally, Illinois travels to Columbus on Feb. 23 to battle Ohio State.
The Illini start the next month at home when they host Penn State on March 2, before hitting the road to Columbia to take on the Missouri Tigers on March 8. Next, the Illini have a quick turnaround when they celebrate their Senior Day on March 10 when Ball State and UIC come to Champaign for the final home meet. Six days later, the Orange and Blue compete in the annual Illinois Classic on March 16, a meet they have won five years straight. This year, the Classic is at UIC in Chicago.
Postseason competition starts March 23 when Michigan State hosts the Big Ten Championship in East Lansing. Kelsey Joannides highlighted the Big Tens in 2012 when she became the Beam Champion with a score of 9.900 while the Illini finished fifth overall. The NCAA Regionals occur two weeks later on April 6. Last year, Alina Weinstein became the second ever NCAA Regional All-Around Champion in Illinois history. Finally, the season wraps up April 19-21 when the NCAA Championship occurs in Los Angeles, Cali.