Basketball, Gymnastics Standouts Take Home Prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor
April 19-21, 2013 // University Park, Pa. // Recreation Building
Hartville, Mori named first-team All-Big Ten; Wilner second-team
Hartville posts highest vault score in Illinois history
Illinois will compete in team finals Friday, event finals Saturday
Freshman Fred Hartville won the Big Ten vault title, and sophomore Mike Wilner finished second on rings.
The No. 6 Illini suffered a 425.400-424.250 loss to No. 11 Nebraska on March 23.
The Illini took down Minnesota, 21-9, in a match play meet on March 8, 2013.
CGA All-American Scholar-Athlete (2012)
Academic All-Big Ten
Big Ten Distinguished Scholar (2012)
Junior Olympics National Qualifier
Junior Olympics National Semifinalist (17th on Vault, 22nd on Floor Exercise)
Two-time Region V Bronze Medalist (Vault)
Four-time First-Team USAG Academic All-American (2006-10)
Competed in nine meets ... Recorded three top-five finishes, including a win on vault at Iowa ... Replaced his career high on vault during NCAA Team Finals ... Earned team Scholar-Athlete Award ... Fighting Illini Outstanding Scholar-Athlete for highest GPA among sophomore athletes at Illinois ... Big Ten Distinguished Scholar ... Academic All-Big Ten ... CGA All-America Scholar-Athlete.
Recorded eight top-five finishes ... Secured his first-career event title on vault with a career-high score of 16.000 against UIC ... Earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors for the week of March 28. High School/Club
Graduate of Wheaton Academy ... Junior Olympics national qualifier ... Junior Olympics national semifinalist on floor exercise (22nd) and vault (17th) ... Two-time Region V bronze medalist on vault ... Was a member of Aerial Gymnastics Club ... Three-year varsity letterwinner and all-conference in soccer ... Was captain of the team his senior year ... Member of National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society ... Four-time first-team USAG Academic All-American ... 2010 AP Scholar and Illinois State Scholar.
Born Alex Morgan Varga on May 27, 1992 ... Son of Steven and Barbara Dill-Varga ... Majoring in business ... Hobbies include playing guitar, soccer, photography, golf and snowboarding ... Lists his biggest thrill in sports as hitting on vault in a competition ... Favorite athlete is Ronaldinho because he is the definition of "Jogo Bonito" ... Names club coaches Tim O'Connell and Rich Larsen as most influencing his athletic career because "they never set a limit on what they believed I could do" ... Illini heroes growing up were current men's gymnastics coach Justin Spring and former men's basketball player Dee Brown ... Plans to attend grad school after graduation.
Varga's Career Highs
Floor Exercise: 15.250 (at Oklahoma w/ Penn State, 3/19/11)
Vault: 15.050 (at NCAA Team Finals 4/20/12)