#2 Illini Set to Host #13 UIC on Saturday
Feb. 10, 2012
ILLINI IN THE RANKINGS
Individually, freshman C.J. Maestas is ranked in the top 20 on four events and is third in the all-around (85.050) and second on rings (15.250). Paul Ruggeri tops the list on high bar (15.350), is fifth in the all-around (84.712) and eighth on vault (14.780). Senior Tyler Mizoguchi is sixth in the all-around (84.500), while classmate C.J. Padera ranks eighth on both pommel horse (14.167) and high bar (14.400). Seniors Anthony Sacramento and Kyle Moe, juniors Austin Phillips and Yoshi Mori, sophomore Jordan Valdez and freshman Michael Wilner cracked the top 20 on their respective events.
WINTER CUP RECAP
Ruggeri finished third on floor with a two-day combined total of 29.250 and just missed additional trips to the podium with fourth-place finishes on vault (32.300) and high bar (29.550). The seven-time All-American also finished seventh in the all-around with a combined 171.450, earning 52 national team points to secure his place on Team USA.
Meanwhile, Maestas captured silver on rings (30.000), tied for 10th on vault (31.300) and finished 12th in the all-around (168.900) to help him make the senior national team for the third time in his career. Illini senior Tyler Mizoguchi also competed in the Winter Cup finals, placing 10th on rings (28.550).
Sender, who joined the Illini this year as a volunteer assistant coach, made two trips to the podium, placing second on vault (32.400) and third on rings (29.950). Sender also took sixth on high bar (28.800) and in the all-around (173.550) and eighth on parallel bars (28.750) to secure 55 national team points and ensure his spot on the national team for the 11th time in his career and first since 2009.
Eight gymnasts, including Ruggeri, Maestas, Sender, Brandon Wynn, Samuel Mikulak, Jesse Silverstein, Glen Ishino and Adrian de los Angeles, were named to the national team Saturday night. They join the seven members of the 2011 World Championships team, which featured Jake Dalton, Jonathan Horton, Steven Legendre, Danell Leyva, Alexander Naddour, John Orozco and Chris Brooks. The 15-member U.S. senior national team will represent the country in international competition until the team is renamed at the 2012 U.S. Visa Championships in June.
WEEKLY HONORS CONTINUE FOR ILLINI
The national accolade is Ruggeri's third career NCAA weekly honor and the first for Illinois since freshman C.J. Maestas earned the title following his performance at the Windy City Invitational earlier this season. The conference award marks the third consecutive Gymnast of the Week honor for the Orange and Blue, as freshman C.J. Maestas earned the accolade two weeks ago and Ruggeri garnered the title last week.
RUGGERI ACHIEVES MILESTONE
ILLINI AT THE TOP
Meanwhile, redshirt senior Paul Ruggeri boasts five titles this season with three on high bar and two on vault, winning high bar at Windy City and both events at Iowa and in the Oklahoma-Michigan tri-meet.
Fellow seniors Tyler Mizoguchi and Anthony Sacramento round out the list of Orange and Blue title-winners, as Mizoguchi took first on parallel bars at Iowa and Sacramento tied Maestas for the rings crown at Windy City.