No. 3 Illinois victorious against UIC
Illini claimed top spot on all six events in route to rivalry win
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - In its final meet of the regular season, No. 3 Illinois men's gymnastics team claimed first-place finishes on all six events en route to a 354.600-339.100 win against in-state rival UIC Saturday afternoon at Huff Hall. Five different Illini captured event titles including two for redshirt sophomore Austin Phillips, who won on rings and high bar for the first time this season. Also placing first were seniors Chad Wiest (floor) and Daniel Ribeiro (pommel horse), junior C.J. Padera (parallel bars) and freshman Alex Varga (vault).
"Coming off a great meet at Oklahoma the scoring was actually a little tight today, but consistent across the board," head coach Justin Spring said. "We had a great meet, especially missing one of our top guys, Tyler Mizoguchi, who was competing in Canada for the U.S. National team. We also rested some guys here and there, most notably Anthony Sacramento on rings, our anchor. We actually had a really rough pommel horse, but we were outstanding on the rest of the five events. The guys are really stepping up and not only finishing routines, but finishing really well."
Illinois claimed the first four spots on floor, as Wiest claimed his sixth event title of the season with a 15.400. Ribeiro and Varga tied for second with a score of 14.800, which was a season high for Ribeiro, while Padera placed fourth and matched his season high with a score of 14.600.
On pommel horse, Ribeiro took home his seventh title of the year and fourth consec on the event with a score of 15.800, followed by sophomore Yoshi Mori in second place with a 14.600. Phillips tallied a 14.700 on rings to tie for first place with UIC's Kyle Voissem, while freshman Andrew Margolis posted a career-high score of 14.500 to earn his first top-three finish of the year.
The Illini swept the top three spots on vault, led by Varga who captured his first career event title behind a career-best score of 16.000, while Wiest finished in second (15.700) and Padera (15.400) took third. Padera paced the Orange and Blue on parallel bars, tallying his second title of the season on the event with a 15.000, followed by Mori, who set a new career high with a 14.800 to place third and Phillips tied his career high with a 14.700 to finish in fourth.
Phillips closed out the meet with his second event title of the day, as he matched his career high of 15.100 on high bar to claim the win. Padera took second with a season-high score of 14.900 and freshman Jordan Valdez placed third with a 14.500.