CHICAGO, Ill.— The Illinois men’s gymnastics team took home the first place trophy at the Windy City Invitational for the first time in four years after record breaking performances. This is the first victory of newly appointed head coach Daniel Ribeiro’s tenure.
The Illini advanced to 5-0, after beating No. 2 ranked Michigan, Ohio State, Greenville, NIU and UIC.
“This one was special. After being ranked last in the Big Ten the guys have been so hungry to come out and prove that ranking wrong,” Ribeiro said. “They came to play today and earned a huge victory over some of the best teams in the country. With this being my first competition as head coach, the guys gave me a night I will never forget. While the work is far from done, we will be celebrating this one tonight!”
Sophomore transfer Amari Sewell started the night off strong for the Orange and Blue, beating his career high in vault with a 14,700, tying for first place and earning his first title as an Illini.
Graduate student Michael Fletcher also had a strong vault performance with a 14,550, and Evan Manivong was close behind him with a 14,350.
Fletcher kept his momentum going into parallel bars, earning the top score for Illinois with a 13,750. Graduate student David Pochinka also had a stellar performance on the parallel bars with a 13,650.
Manivong came in and had a knock-out high bar performance, snagging a 13,850 and beating his career-high. Pochinka also had a top performance on high bar, scoring a 13,650. Freshman Tate Costa had his best performance of the night with a 13,450.
Connor McCool won the title for floor exercise with a 14,300, with Yan Holder-Courchesne securing a 13,350 in his first time competing in the event.
2021 National Champion Ian Skirkey was the top scorer on pommel horse, attaining a 13,750. Freshman Connor Micklos secured his top score of the evening with a 13,450.
In the final rotation, junior Ethan Boder sealed the deal on still rings. After being out the last two years, Boder came in and scored Illinois’ top score with a 13,650. Senior Josh Cook was right behind him with a 13,050.
The Illini will now come back to Champaign to host his home-opener against Greenville on Jan. 21 at 2 pm in Huff Hall.