Illini men’s gymnastics wins third straight Windy City Invitational


Daily Illini File Photo

Illinois’ Tyson Bull performs a routine on the parallel bars during the meet against Stanford at Huff Hall on Friday, March 6, 2017. Bull helped the Illini win the Windy City Invitational with a title on the horizontal bar.

By Thomas Polcyn , Assistant sports editor

After winning the Windy City Invitational the previous two seasons, the Illinois men’s gymnastics team has completed its “three-peat.”

Illinois’ inaugural tournament of the season brought plenty of competition including Big Ten rivals such as Michigan and Ohio State, but the Illini prevailed, posting a team score of 412.150 — almost nine points ahead of the second place Buckeyes.

Head coach Justin Spring said that he was proud of the performance, and that he saw a team that “rose above expectations.”

“I’m very proud of our guys that competed tonight, and I think we are only going to get better from here on out,” Spring said.

The team got out to a quick start thanks to strong performances from juniors Tyson Bull and Chandler Eggleston on the high bar. The two combined for a total of 28.750 — of the team’s 70.750 — on the high bar while Bull won the individual competition with his score of 14.400.

Next, the Illini took to the floor routine. Joey Peters and Sebastian Quiana performed well, helping the team to a team score of 69.650. That was followed up by an individual pommel horse title by Matt Foster; helping lead Illinois to a team score of 64.500. Alex Diab then secured a share of the individual title on the rings with a 14.250. He tied with Ohio State’s Tristan Burke.

After those events, the Illini faced a small deficit — trailing Minnesota by less than one point. But, they still had two events to go and they would go on to end the tournament strong.

Bobby Baker helped to work at that deficit by winning the individual vault title with a score of 14.700. As a team, they scored a 69.600.

Finally — to secure the victory — Johnny Jacobson took first place on the parallel bars with a 14.600, while Eggleston and Peters also tied for third with 14.000.

The final standings were: Illinois (412.150), Ohio State (403.450), Minnesota (397.600), Michigan (396.100), Iowa (387.550) and UIC (360.250) —who hosted the tournament.

Individual titles for the Illini included Baker (Vault), Jacobson (Parallel Bars), Bull (High Bar), Diab (Rings), and Foster (Pommel Horse)

Following the victory, the Illini will travel to Arizona State for a competition Jan. 21.

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