Illinois Wins 2018 Big Ten Championship Illini Capture Their First B1G Title Since 2012

On March 17, Illinois all-arounder Bobby Baker was swept away by ambulance after an ankle injury in warmups. At that point, it didn't look like Baker would be available to compete all-around in the postseason, let alone any events at all.

Well, he somehow did six events, and he did them well enough to propel his Fighting Illini team to a 413.8, earning them a Big Ten team title.

"It just makes it that much more special coming off three bitter second-place finishes," explained head coach Justin Spring. "To come so close...to have a team fight this hard. We didn't just flow through this day."

They did indeed fight. It wasn't a cake walk for the Illini who dealt with major hiccups on PH & PB. High bar, however, was a different story. The Illini rattled off a 70.05 on the event, just the second score of 70+ recorded this season in the NCAA. Capping off the event was senior Tyson Bull who put together an unbelievable 14.85 -- winning tonight's meet by six tenths of a point.

"We just were resilient...pretty awesome," continued Spring. "It took six years of, I swear, doing everything I could and trying to build a great program and focus on culture and we just didn't win. This one, I think the effort, the grind and the hiccup, up-and-down, setback-type of season makes it real sweet."

Said Spring when asked if he's thinking about NCAA's yet, "It's already happening."

Sean Melton Wins Third-Straight B1G All-Around Crown

Though he's still got one meet left in his career, Sean Melton has already done a great job of finishing off his Buckeye career on a high note. The senior took home his third-straight B1G all-around title with an 84.45.

Coming in an ever-so-close second was his teammate, Alec Yoder, who finished just a tenth-and-a-half behind him with an 84.3.


Photo: Logan Bradley

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