Illinois men’s gymnastics opens spring campaign with third-place finish


Photo courtesy of Illini Athletics

Gymnast Logan Myers performs on the parallel bars during the NCAA Championship Finals on April 17. The Illini began their season with a third place finish at the Windy City Invitational on Saturday.

By Renato Arteaga, Staff Writer

The Illinois men’s gymnastics team opened its 2022 season with a third-place finish at the Windy City Invitational on Saturday. 

The Illini traveled to the Credit Union 1 Arena in Chicago, where they faced off against some Big Ten foes, including Michigan and Ohio State, who went on to finish first and second with scores of 398.500 and 387.700, respectively.  

The first meet of the season saw the men score 373.050 team points, with sophomore Logan Myers providing a 67.200 overall score after competing in all six events for the Illini.  

Illini upperclassmen stepped up big to help the Illini secure their third-place finish, including seniors Hamish Carter (13.450) and Michael Fletcher (12.650), who contributed some crucial points in the parallel bars and pommel horse events.

Junior Josh Cook finished with the second highest point total in the floor exercise event with a score of 13.950.

Multiple Illini also set career highs in Chicago, including senior Clay Mason Stephens on the high bar (13.650) and junior Dylan Kolak on the vault (14.200). Myers also tied a career high on the vault (14.200). 

This meet also marked the debut for quite a few athletes on the team.

Graduate student David Pochinka, who recently transferred from Minnesota, made his season debut in the Windy City, along with freshmen newcomers Maksim Farkhadau and Yan Inhaber-Courchesne.

This year marks the 14th season under head coach Justin Spring. The former National Coach of the Year has a long list of accomplishments with the Illini that continues to grow, especially after guiding the team to the NCAA Championships for the 12th time last year. 

The Illini finished the 2021 season with a 4-3 record in the regular season and placed fourth at the Big Ten Championships. 

The Illini will look to continue their journey to playoff glory on Jan. 29, when they’ll be facing off against Big Ten rival Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania. 

The team’s first home meet of the season will take place a few weeks later against Ohio State on Feb. 5.

The Illini’s matchup against the Nittany Lions is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and will be streamed on B1G+.



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