Illini tie for 2nd in Windy City Invite; Eggleston repeats as Big Ten Freshman of the Week

By Kieran Hampl

The No. 7 Illinois men’s gymnastics team traveled to Chicago for the second straight weekend, this time to compete in the 44th annual Windy City Invitational along with some of the best teams in the Midwest.

With a score of 436.050, the Illini tied for second with No. 4 Ohio State and finished only 1.45 points behind No. 1 Michigan.

The Illini had the top score in three of the six events. 

Freshman Chandler Eggleston coming off his first Big Ten Freshman of the Week Honor placed first on floor with a 15.150, earning Eggleston his 2nd title of the season. He also placed third on vault with a 15.200. His performance garnered a second consecutive Big Ten Freshman of the Week bestowment. The last time an Illini accomplished this feat was when redshirt sophomore C.J. Maestas did it in 2012.

Along with Eggleston, Maestas led the Illini with a second-place finish on floor with a 15.000, a first-place tie on the rings with a 15.500, and a 10th place finish in vault with a 14.800.  

“C.J. was great for his first meet back,” head coach Justin Spring said in a press release.

Senior Jordan Valdez took the horizontal bar title with a score of 15.450 and was the only Illini to place in the top 10 of the event.

Other top-five finishes for Illinois included sophomore Joey Peters placing fourth on the parallel bars with a 15.000, Valdez placing fifth on parallel bars with a 14.950, and sophomore Fred Hartville placing second on the vault with a 15.500.

“I think the guys are excited about the finish, but if you look at the numbers, mistakes were made,” Spring said.

Kieran can be reached at [email protected]