Men's Gymnastics

C.J. Padera
C.J. Padera


Winfield, Ill.

High School:
Wheaton North

Height / Weight:
5-9 / 132




Illini Gymnasts Honored at Annual Awards Banquet

Maestas, Joannides Named Most Valuable for Respective Teams


Illini Gymnasts Honored at Annual Awards Banquet

Maestas, Joannides Named Most Valuable for Respective Teams


Ruggeri, Maestas Crowned National Champions

Maestas wins Illinois' first-ever NCAA still rings title


#4 Illini Win NCAA Prelim Session with Season-Best 356.25

Ruggeri, Mason, Maestas win on various events


Illinois Wins Men's Gymnastics National Title

Illini win first title since 1989

Career Highlights
All-American (Parallel Bars, 2011)
Big Ten Champion (Parallel Bars, 2010)
First-Team All-Big Ten (2010)
U.S. Winter Cup (12th on High Bar, 2010)
Junior Olympics National Championship (7th in All-Around, 2008)
Illinois State Champion (Team, Pommel Horse, 2005)

Junior 2011
Earned first-career All-America honor on parallel bars ... Won two event titles, both on parallel bars ... Recorded 12 top-five finishes ... Set new career highs on floor and parallel bars ... Competed on every event but rings.

Sophomore 2010
Big Ten Parallel Bars Champion ... First-team All-Big Ten ... Set new career highs on floor exercise (14.800), parallel bars (15.200) and high bar (15.350) ... Recorded 13 top-three finishes ... Won a career-best five individual titles ... Tallied the third-best parallel bars score of the season with a 15.200 at the NCAA Qualifying Session ... Score also ranks fourth in school history under the FIG open ended code.

Freshman 2009
Competed in every meet ... Placed in the top three nine times on the season in five different meets ... Captured titles on the parallel bars (14.950) versus Ohio State and on the high bar (14.900) against UIC ... Set a new career high on the pommel horse with a score of 14.575 to finish in third place at the Big Ten Individual Event Finals.

High School/Club
Graduate of Wheaton North High School ... Coached by Chris Mckee ... One-year varsity letterwinner in gymnastics at Wheaton North ... Was crowned pommel horse state champion his freshman year with a score of 9.65 ... Member of the 2005 state champion Wheaton North gymnastics team ... Finished in seventh place in the all-around at the Junior Olympics National Championships in 2008.

Born Craig Henry Padera Jr. on June 7, 1990 ... Son of Craig Sr. and Ellen Padera ... Brother, Kyle, is a senior on the Illinois gymnastics team ... Goes by "C.J." ... Nickname is Cranberry Juice ... Hobbies include playing guitar, baseball, movies, riding the unicycle and ping pong ... Names coach Chris McKee as both the most influential person in his career and his Fighting Illini hero ... Favorite athlete is Ken Griffey Jr., because of his style.

Padera's Career Highs
Floor Exercise: 15.100 (at NCAA Team Finals, 4/15/11)
Pommel Horse: 14.650 (at Big Ten Championships, 4/2/10)
Vault: 15.750 (vs. UIC, 3/7/09)
Parallel Bars: 15.300 (at NCAA Team Finals, 4/15/11)
High Bar: 15.350 (vs. UIC, 3/20/10)