C.J. Maestas is one of three Illini who will compete at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Thursday and Saturday.
June 26, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Recent Illinois graduate Paul Ruggeri, volunteer assistant coach David Sender and sophomore-to-be C.J. Maestas will compete at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, June 28-July 1, at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif. The field of competitors includes the 15 members of the U.S. senior national team, each vying for one of five spots on the U.S. Olympic Team.
The men's competition will begin on June 28 at 4 p.m. CT and continue on June 30 at 2 p.m. The Trials will determine the five men who will represent the U.S. in men's gymnastics at the 2012 Olympics, subject to the approval of the U.S. Olympic Committee's board of directors.
Ruggeri, a four-time NCAA individual event champion and nine-time All-American, shared the silver medal on floor and finished seventh in the all-around at the 2012 Visa Championships in early June. Sender, a 12-time senior national team member, placed 11th in the all-around at Visas, while reigning NCAA still rings champion and three-time All-American Maestas finished 12th.
Head coach Justin Spring was the last Illinois gymnast to compete on the Olympic stage, helping the U.S. to a bronze medal in the team competition in 2008.
Two gymnasts will be named immediately following the Trials. Scores from four days of competition, including two at the Visa Championships and two at the Olympic Trials, will equally combine to determine the Olympic Team selections. Team USA will consist of five gymnasts and up to three alternates.
NBC Sports Network will broadcast day one of competition on June 28 from 4:30-7 p.m. CT, and NBC will televise the men's final on June 30 from 3-5 p.m.
Illinois Men's Gymnastics Olympians
Paul Fina (1940)*
Abie Grossfeld (1956, 1960)
Don Tonry (1960)
Charles Lakes (1988)
Dominick Minicucci (1988, 1992)
Justin Spring (2008)
*Fina made the Olympic team, but the Olympic Games were not held due to WWII.