gymnastics-men-nc flag | February 6, 2014

Top 10 Preview: Illinois and No. 9 Iowa renew rivalry in meet on Friday

No. 5 Illinois vs. No. 9 Iowa

The Fighting Illini will travel to Iowa City, Iowa this weekend to take on Iowa at 8 p.m. Friday. The Illini lead the all-time series against Iowa 142-80, and have continued their success this season, beating the Hawkeyes at the Windy City Invitational.

Iowa has only competed in two meets this season, the first being the Windy City Invitational, where they came in fifth with a score of 417.700. Individually, the Hawkeyes had seven top-ten finishes, the highest being Jack Boyle coming in second in the all-around (83.100). Iowa traveled to Oklahoma last week where they fell to the Sooners 444.300-430.600. Individually, Mitchell Landau and Jack Boyle edged out Oklahoma in high bar (15.200) and in the all-around (83.400), respectively.

The Fighting Illini traveled to Minnesota to take on the Gophers and Huskers this past weekend. Illinois came out of the tri-meet in second with a score of 432.700. As a team, the Illini won on pommel horse (70.150), still rings (75.100), and high bar (71.900). Individually, Illinois gymnasts won each event except for parallel bars. Chandler Eggleston took home the floor (15.450) and vault (15.200) titles, Matt Foster won on pommel horse (14.550), Jordan Valdez took the high bar title (15.350) and C.J. Maestas broke the Illinois still rings record, previously held by teammate Mike Wilner, with a score of 16.050.

No. 1 Oklahoma vs. No. 4 Stanford

 Stanford will leave California for the first time this season for a dual meet against Oklahoma at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The Cardinal is coming off a week of rest after a third-place finish in the Stanford Open with a score of 429.900, falling to No. 2 Michigan (433.050) and No. 6 California (430.300). Stanford led for a majority of the meet but slipped to third after a tough final rotation on high bar.

Oklahoma is undefeated this season, beating Iowa in its most recent competition 444.300-430.600. The Sooners have passed the 440-point mark in three of four meets this season.

No. 2 Michigan vs. Nebraska

Michigan -- the defending NCAA and Big Ten champion -- will host Nebraska at 7 p.m. Saturday night from Cliff Keen Arena. The Cornhuskers are coming off a pair of defeats after a 420.700, falling to Minnesota (435.000) and Illinois (432.700) in a tri-meet in Minneapolis on Feb. 1.

Michigan is off to a 9-0 start for the second consecutive season.

No. 6 California vs. Arizona State

California took off last weekend after placing second in the Stanford Open on Jan. 25.

Cal will host Arizona State at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

No. 7 Minnesota vs. No. 10 Air Force

The Gophers will hit the road for the first time in three weeks this weekend, as they head to Colorado to take on Air Force. The meet will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening.

The Gophers defeated two of their Big Ten rivals last week at the Sports Pavilion, topping Illinois and Nebraska with a season best score of 435.000. The meet came down to the final rotation as the Gophers and Illinois were still tied with one event remaining, but the Gophers got the win after scoring a season high 71.000 on high bar.

This will be the Gophers' first meeting with Air Force this season, but the two teams met at the Sports Pavilion last year. Minnesota won by a score of 430.600 to 404.450. The Gophers posted the top team and individual score in every event at the meet for their first win of the 2013 season.

Air Force has competed in four meets so far this year, including two meets against opponents the Gophers have already faced. After opening their season with the Rocky Mountain Invitational, Air Force traveled to Oklahoma, where they fell to the Sooners 440.700 to 412.200. The Falcons then traveled to Nebraska and were defeated 420.650 to 415.300.

No. 8 Penn State vs. Temple

Penn State and Temple have enjoyed a historically competitive friendship on the football field, on the court and even the field hockey turf. Each year, fans come out to fuel the fire between the two Pennsylvania universities in either Philadelphia or State College. This Saturday, Rec Hall will be flooded by a sea of cherry, blue, and white as Penn State takes on Temple at 4 p.m. in a double dual.

Heading into this weekend's matchup, Penn State has championed both the West Point Open and the Navy Open, securing its 15th-consecutive victory in West Point. This weekend will not be the first time this season that the Lions and Owls have competed in the same venue, as they competed against each other in West Point, N.Y., and Annapolis, Md.

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