Illinois will serve as host for the 2011 Big Ten Championships Friday and Saturday at Huff Hall.
March 30, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The University of Illinois will host the 2011 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships on Friday and Saturday, April 1 and 2 at Huff Hall. Illinois, which last hosted in 2004, is vying for its third straight Big Ten team title and conference-leading 26th overall. The team and all-around finals will be on Friday, with the individual event finals taking place the following night.
Both nights of action will be televised live on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m. CT. Doors will open to the public at 6 p.m. each day. To purchase tickets please contact the University of Illinois Athletic Ticket Office for more information at 1-866-ILLINI-1 or 217-333-3470.
Illinois enters the championships ranked first in the Big Ten team standings with a four-score average of 354.125, followed by Penn State (352.425), Michigan (349.687), Minnesota (345.850), Ohio State (343.700) and Iowa (341.887). The Illini also rank in the top two on all six events including first on floor (59.600), pommel horse (57.925), vault (62.975), parallel bars (58.112) and high bar (58.350), and second on rings (58.425).
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Both days of the championships will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network, with Mike Leiderman (play-by-play), John Roethlisberger (analyst) and Rob Brown (sidelines) calling the action. Live stats also will be available both days at fightingillini.com.
2010 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS RECAP
Last season, Illinois won its second straight Big Ten title, rallying past Michigan in the final rotation to take the crown with a final team score of 359.700. First-year associate head coach Justin Spring became the first Illinois men's gymnastics coach to win the Big Ten title in his first season at the helm. Michigan took second place (358.150), followed by Penn State (347.300), Ohio State (346.950), Minnesota (346.500) and Iowa (337.800). The Big Ten Championship was the 25th in Illinois history, the most among any Big Ten school.
Spring was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, while newcomer Yoshi Mori earned Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year honors, and Paul Ruggeri, Daniel Ribeiro, C.J. Padera and Brian Liscovitz garnered All-Big Ten accolades.
In the team finals, C.J. Padera placed first on parallel bars and tied his career high with a score of 15.000, while on high bar, Paul Ruggeri placed first with a score of 16.000. In the third rotation on floor, Chad Wiest claimed second place with a score of 15.550, and on pommel horse, Daniel Ribeiro (15.650) and Luke Stannard (15.200), placed first and second, respectively.
Still trailing the Wolverines, the Illini edged closer in the fifth rotation on rings, posting their second-best score of the season (58.850) behind Anthony Sacramento's then-career-high score of 15.150 to tie for second place to pull within 1.85 of first place. In the final rotation on vault, Illinois tallied its third-best score of the season, led by Ruggeri's first-place finish (16.200) to overcome the deficit and claim the title.
In the individual event finals, the Illini took home four titles as Paul Ruggeri won Big Ten titles on vault (16.350) and high bar (15.550) for the first time in his career and third and fourth overall, while Daniel Ribeiro won his second-career Big Ten pommel horse title (15.625) and C.J. Padera won the first Big Ten title of his career on parallel bars (14.975). It was the second straight year the Illini captured at least three individual event titles.
ILLINI IN THE RANKINGS
This week's GymInfo team and individual rankings are based on each team's four score average. The Illini rank in the top four nationally on all six events including second on high bar (58.350), third on floor exercise (59.600) and pommel horse (57.925) and fourth on rings (58.425), vault (62.975) and parallel bars (58.112).
Individually in the top 10, senior Daniel Ribeiro ranks first on pommel horse (15.887), while junior Tyler Mizoguchi is second in the all-around (87.975) and on parallel bars (15.087) and sixth on floor (14.912). Redshirt senior Chad Wiest checks in fourth on floor (15.525), tied for seventh on vault (15.887) and tied for 10th on parallel bars (14.450) and junior Anthony Sacramento is sixth on rings (15.200). Additionally, sophomore Yoshi Mori is ninth on pommel horse (14.512) and freshman Jordan Valdez is tied for eighth on high bar (14.562).
Illinois has captured 39 individual titles through nine meets this season, led by junior Tyler Mizoguchi, who with eight titles thus far has already topped his career-high total from a year ago.
Seniors Daniel Ribeiro (7) and Chad Wiest (6) have combined for 13 titles on the year, while juniors Anthony Sacramento and C.J. Padera, redshirt sophomore Austin Phillips and freshman Jordan Valdez have each recorded two, and sophomore Yoshi Mori and freshmen Chad Mason and Alex Varga have each tallied one apiece.
All seven newcomers to this year's squad, which includes Andrew Margolis, Chad Mason, Cameron Rogers, Cole Smith, Jordan Valdez and Alex Varga, have made significant contributions in the lineup this season. Mason has tallied four top-five finishes competing in eight meets on pommel horse and took home his first individual title on the event against Penn State with a career-high score of 15.100. Valdez has competed in all nine meets and at Winter Cup, totaling 13 top-five finishes and individual titles on high bar and the all-around.
Varga also has contributed in all nine meets, posting seven top-five finishes between floor and vault, while Margolis has seen action in six meets on rings. Rounding out the group are Rogers and Smith, who have each competed in eight meets on the year. Rogers boasts five top-five finishes, including four on parallel bars and one in the all-around, while Smith has competed exclusively on pommel horse for the Illini.
MIZOGUCHI WINS FOUR MEDALS AT INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
Tyler Mizoguchi took home one gold and two silver medals at the inaugural Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival, March 25-26, in Calgary, Canada. Mizoguchi, competing for the U.S. National team, claimed gold on parallel bars (15.450) and secured silver medals on rings (14.700) and in the all-around (86.450).
The U.S. earned six individual event medals including two gold and four silver, while as a team, the squad took bronze with a two-day score of 255.850. Canada's "Red" (258.600) and "White" (258.450) teams placed first and second, respectively, followed by the U.S. and China (254.650). The competition used a 4-3-3 format in which each team consisted of four members with three athletes competing on each apparatus and all three scores counted.
ILLINI RAKE IN WEEKLY HONORS
Redshirt sophomore Austin Phillips was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week and newcomer Alex Varga earned Freshman of the Week honors, announced Monday by the conference office. The duo each captured individual event titles in helping lead the Illini to a dominating win over UIC last Saturday to conclude the regular season. It was the first such accolade for Phillips and Varga, while it was Illinois' seventh gymnast of the week and second freshman of the week this season.
Phillips, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, earned his first event titles of the season on rings (14.700) and high bar, tying his career-high score of 15.100. He also placed sixth on floor (14.000) and fourth on parallel bars (14.700), matching his career-best score on that event as well. Varga captured his first-career event title on vault with a career-high score of 16.000, while also tying for second on floor with a 14.800.
Tyler Mizoguchi earned Illinois' sixth Big Ten Gymnast of the Week accolade this season after leading the Illini with his team-and career-best eighth event title of the season and set new career highs on four events and the all-around in a tri-meet against Oklahoma and Penn State. Mizoguchi secured a first-place finish on parallel bars (15.500), in addition to placing second on vault (16.250) and all-around (90.800), tied for fourth on high bar (14.800) and sixth on floor (15.300). The all-around mark is a new school record under the FIG open ended code of points established in 2008. Mizoguchi also tallied a season-high score of 15.050 to tie for seventh on rings.
Mizoguchi earned his second honor after securing first-place finishes on parallel bars, high bar and all-around against Penn State on Feb. 19. Daniel Ribeiro garnered Big Ten honors for the week of Feb. 7 after securing his second straight gold medal on pommel horse at the U.S. Winter Cup Challenge on Feb. 5.
For the week of Jan. 31, Tyler Mizoguchi was named Big Ten and NCAA Gymnast of the Week and newcomer Jordan Valdez earned Freshman of the Week honors. The duo each captured individual event titles in helping lead the Illini to a dominating win over Iowa on Jan. 29. It is the first such accolade for Mizoguchi and Valdez and third straight week an Illinois gymnast has been honored.
Prior to his injury, Paul Ruggeri earned consecutive Big Ten honors to open the season after leading the Illini to wins at the Windy City Invitational and versus Minnesota and Nebraska.
LAST TIME OUT
In its final meet of the regular season, the No. 3 Illini men's gymnastics team claimed first-place finishes on all six events en route to a 354.600-339.100 win over in-state rival UIC March 26 at Huff Hall. Five different Illini captured event titles including two for redshirt sophomore Austin Phillips, who won on rings and high bar for the first time this season. Also placing first were seniors Chad Wiest (floor) and Daniel Ribeiro (pommel horse), junior C.J. Padera (parallel bars) and freshman Alex Varga (vault).
Illinois claimed the first four spots on floor, as Wiest claimed his sixth event title of the season with a 15.400. Ribeiro and Varga tied for second with a score of 14.800, which was a season high for Ribeiro, while Padera placed fourth and matched his season high with a score of 14.600.
On pommel horse, Ribeiro took home his seventh title of the year and fourth straight on the event with a score of 15.800, followed by sophomore Yoshi Mori in second place with a 14.600. Phillips tallied a 14.700 on rings to tie for first place with UIC's Kyle Voissem, while freshman Andrew Margolis posted a career-high score of 14.500 to earn his first top-three finish of the year.
The Illini swept the top three spots on vault, led by Varga who captured his first career event title behind a career-best score of 16.000, while Wiest finished in second (15.700) and Padera (15.400) took third. Padera paced the Orange and Blue on parallel bars, tallying his second title of the season on the event with a 15.000, followed by Mori, who set a new career high with a 14.800 to place third and Phillips tied his career high with a 14.700 to finish in fourth.
Phillips closed out the meet with his second event title of the day, as he matched his career high of 15.100 on high bar to claim the win. Padera took second with a season-high score of 14.900 and freshman Jordan Valdez placed third with a 14.500.
Illinois will have a week off before competing at the NCAA Championships, April 14-16 in Columbus, Ohio.
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