Junior Olympics National Championship (7th in All-Around, 2008)
Illinois State Champion (Team, Pommel Horse, 2005)
Placed in the top three in nine 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.
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 9.65 ... Member of the 2005 State Champion Wheaton North gymnastics team ... Finished seventh place in All-Around at J.O. Nationals 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: 14.000 (at Winter Cup, 2/6/09)
Pommel Horse: 14.575 (at Big Ten Individual Finals, 4/4/09)
Vault: 15.750 (vs. UIC, 3/7/09)
Parallel Bars: 14.950 (vs. Ohio State, 1/24/09)
High Bar: 14.900 (vs. UIC, 3/7/09)