The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

End of season draws near for Illinois men’s gymnastics   

Olivia McAfoos
Senior Sebastian Ingersoll midair as he prepares to catch back onto the horizontal bar.

The end of the 2024 season for Illinois men’s gymnastics (16-3) is right around the corner as the team prepares to travel to Columbus, Ohio, for qualifiers and the Super Six of the NCAA Championship.

This comes two weeks after the Big Ten Championship with a second-place finish for the Illini, scoring 413.750. Graduate Connor McCool, senior Ashton Anaya, junior Amari Sewell and freshman Brandon Dang won event titles on the floor, still rings, vault and pommel horse respectively. 

While the team has had an impressive season thus far with a record of 16-3 — with two of those losses being to Michigan — the team also faced a few hiccups. Head coach Daniel Ribeiro spoke on the team’s current injuries. Both freshmen Garrett Schooley and Vahe Petrosyan were injured before the team’s last meet and graduate Evan Manivong tore his Achilles during his floor performance for event finals at the Big Ten Championship.

“There was a lot of high energy coming off four Big Ten titles, coming in second place as a team under the conditions we were in,” Ribeiro said. “It was a really incredible weekend considering a couple of the injuries we had.”

The challenges for the Illini don’t stop there. Ribeiro mentioned how almost half of the team has been affected by other health problems since their last competition. 

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

“It was definitely a changeling wheel this past week,” Ribeiro also noted. “We’re hoping to get healthy leading into the championship.”

This weekend Illinois will be competing at the NCAA’s Championship where the last time the team saw a first-place finish was in 2012. Stanford has won first place the past four competitions in a row with Oklahoma winning the previous four years in a row before that. Last year, Illinois finished in third place with a first place finish on the pommel horse from former team member Ian Skirkey and Anaya taking the first place spot on the still rings.

Illinois was one of 12 teams that qualified for the NCAA tournament with a score of 411.813, falling behind Michigan (16-2), Oklahoma (11-4) and Stanford (10-1). Anything could happen this weekend to decide who takes the top spot. The Illini have beaten the Sooners and the Wolverines this season. Michigan has lost to both Illinois and Ohio State, while Oklahoma has fallen short to both Illinois and Michigan and twice to Stanford. Meanwhile, Stanford is at a 10-1 season, with their only loss being against Team USA.

As for preparation for this weekend, Ribeiro talked about how it is one of the core values of the team. 

“Our guys are prepared, even the guys who aren’t competing stay prepared,” Ribeiro noted. “We’re going to have to be putting up some rookie routines.”

With injuries and illnesses revolving around the team, Ribeiro mentioned how it felt incomplete this past week. Despite this, he says that the team is still stepping up at practice.

“The guys that are healthy are doing a great job,” Ribeiro furthered. “We’ve had some really, really solid routine performances at practice that are making me feel really good going into NCAA’s.”

Illinois men’s gymnastics will be competing at the NCAA tournament on April 19 and 20 in Columbus, Ohio, at the Covelli Center. 


[email protected]

More to Discover
ILLordle: Play now