`Forty Flames to Follow' in 2013-14: Joseph Hodges

Junior Joseph Hodges
Junior Joseph Hodges

June 28, 2013

CHICAGO - Junior Joseph Hodges proved to be one of the UIC men's gymnastics teams most consistent performers during the 2012-13 campaign. The junior all-arounder was one-of-eight Flames' standouts to advance to the 2013 NCAA Championships, and wraps up this week's collection of featured student-athletes in the "Forty Flames to Follow" in 2013-14 summer series.

Hodges competed in the all-around 12 times last season, scoring at least 80.00 on nine occasions, including in seven-of the last eight meets he participated in. The Webster, N.Y., native scored a season-high 84.100 in the all-around on March 1 in the first-of two head-to-head meets against the Air Force Academy. He was a part of eight UIC individual gymnasts that advanced to the NCAA Championships, more than any other program in the country.

"Joseph has been our top all around competitor for the past two seasons and he'll enter his senior year with that responsibility," said head coach Charley Nelson. "Because of Joseph's talent, diligence, and leadership qualities he was selected by his teammates to be one of the team's tri-captains in 2013-14."

Hodges' most consistent event during the 2012-13 campaign was on the high bars, where he scored at least a 14.100 on six occasions. He posted a 14.500 against Minnesota on Feb. 24, his season-high tally on any event during his junior campaign.

"I'm excited to see what Joseph can do in his senior season," Nelson said. "He's been a consistent trajectory of improvement in his first three years at UIC and I expect that to continue. Joseph finished ninth in the all around at the 2013 NCAA Championships -- one position shy of being UIC's first Division I All American in the all around."

"The first goal this year will be to bring the conference championship cup back to Chicago and earn a berth to the NCAA championship weekend. If the team is going to achieve that goal, it means that Joseph will be in a great position to become that All American."