Hartville Wins Big Ten Vault Title
April 6, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS - Less than 24 hours after breaking the Illinois vault record during team finals of the 2013 Big Ten Championships, freshman Fred Hartville captured the Big Ten vault title Saturday night during event finals at the Sports Pavilion. Hartville and senior Yoshi Mori, who finished fourth in Friday's all-around competition, earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades, while sophomore Mike Wilner, who placed second on rings, garnered second-team recognition.
"We needed to end on a high note this weekend," head coach Justin Spring said. "I've highlighted Fred and Mike as our unsung heroes this season, so it's fitting that the two of them really stepped up. Fred didn't do the impossible, but he did the very unlikely by sticking one of the hardest vaults being done in the country two nights in a row. He really handled the pressure."
Hartville posted a 15.425 on vault to notch his first career Big Ten title, seventh vault win of the year and team-leading eighth victory overall this season. The Atlanta native is Illinois' second straight Big Ten vault champion, following former Illini standout Paul Ruggeri's win in 2012. Illinois has boasted at least one conference champion in each of the last 11 seasons.
"This means a lot to me," Hartville said. "For me to go out and actually show what I can do on vault, it was amazing. The other guys really helped me through this and kept me calm."
Wilner finished second on rings with a 15.450, just five hundredths of a point shy of first place. Three other Illini made trips to the podium, including junior Alex Varga, who tied for fourth on floor (15.200), junior Cameron Rogers, who placed fifth on parallel bars (14.475), and senior Vince Smurro, who placed sixth on floor (15.025).
Freshman Logan Bradley also competed in event finals, placing 10th on pommel horse (13.650). The Illini newcomer was Illinois' Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship, academic performance and good citizenship.
The sixth-ranked Illini will return to action in two weeks to defend their national title at the NCAA Championships, April 19-21 in University Park, Pa.
Big Ten Individual Event Finals - Illinois Results
First-Team All-Big Ten
Second-Team All-Big Ten
Big Ten Gymnast of the Year: Sam Mikulak, MICH
Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honorees