#3 Illini to Host #5 Ohio State for Gym Jam, Senior Night
March 2, 2012
SCOUTING OHIO STATE
ILLINI IN THE RANKINGS
Individually, freshman C.J. Maestas ranks in the top 10 on three events and is third in the all-around. The Illini newcomer is third on rings, fourth on high bar and eighth on floor. Paul Ruggeri tops the list on high bar and is third on vault and sixth in the all-around and on parallel bars. Sophomore Jordan Valdez ranks seventh on high bar, while junior Austin Phillips ranks eighth on the same apparatus. Seniors Tyler Mizoguchi, Anthony Sacramento, C.J. Padera and Kyle Moe, junior Yoshi Mori and freshman Michael Wilner cracked the top 20 on various events.
GYM JAM PROMOTIONS
PENN STATE RECAP
Redshirt senior Paul Ruggeri led the Illini with three event titles, marking a season high for the seven-time All-American. The Manlius, N.Y., native captured the floor title for the first time in 2012 with a 15.600, matching Illinois' season best, and secured his first parallel bars crown of the year with a 15.300, which leads the team this season. Ruggeri also took home the title on vault (15.200) for the third time this season and finished the night with a season-high 87.100 to finish second in the all-around.
Freshman C.J. Maestas had a stellar night as well, capturing his third all-around crown of the year with a career-best 88.100, marking a season-high for the Orange and Blue. The Illini newcomer won his career-first high bar title with a 15.100 and finished second on both rings (15.500) and parallel bars with a season-high 14.600. Maestas also finished third on floor (14.700) and vault (14.700).
Senior Anthony Sacramento also had a solid night, finishing third on rings (14.700). Senior C.J. Padera tied for third on pommel horse (14.300), while junior Austin Phillips tied for third on parallel bars (14.500), and senior Kyle Moe (14.300) and sophomore Cameron Rogers (14.300) finished sixth on rings and parallel bars, respectively. Rogers' score marked his season high in that event.
MAESTAS EARNS THIRD BIG TEN FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK HONOR
Maestas captured his third all-around crown of the year with a career-best 88.100, marking a season high for the Orange and Blue. The Illini newcomer also won his career-first high bar title with a 15.100 and finished second on both rings (15.500) and parallel bars, posting a season-high 14.600 on the latter apparatus. Maestas finished third on floor (14.700) and vault (14.700) and ninth on pommel horse (13.500) to round out a solid night against the Nittany Lions.
The award marks the first Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the Illini since Maestas earned the title on Jan. 23, when he was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week as well. Maestas also took home the weekly newcomer honor on Jan. 16, which was the same week he garnered NCAA Gymnast of the Week accolades.
WINTER CUP TO SENIOR NATIONAL TEAM
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.
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.
ILLINI AT THE TOP
Meanwhile, redshirt senior Paul Ruggeri boasts three crowns on high bar and three on vault, winning high bar at Windy City and both events at Iowa and in the Oklahoma-Michigan tri-meet. The Manlius, N.Y., native also won on floor, parallel bars and vault at Penn State.
Seniors Tyler Mizoguchi, Anthony Sacramento and Kyle Moe round out the list of Orange and Blue title-winners. Mizoguchi took first on parallel bars at Iowa, while Sacramento tied Maestas for the rings crown at Windy City, and Moe won on rings (15.000) against UIC.
WEEKLY HONORS FOR THE ILLINI
Redshirt senior Paul Ruggeri was named both NCAA Gymnast and Big Ten Co-Gymnast of the Week for the week of Feb. 6, after taking home the conference honor one week earlier (Jan. 30), marking his ninth career Big Ten weekly award and third NCAA weekly honor.
On Jan. 23, freshman C.J. Maestas earned both Big Ten Gymnast and Freshman of the Week honors after being named Big Ten Freshman and NCAA Gymnast of the Week for the week of Jan. 16. The Illini newcomer earned his third Freshman of the Week honor on Feb. 20, following a strong performance at Penn State.