Former Illini Paul Ruggeri sits in seventh in the all-around and third on both high bar and floor after first-day action at Olympic Trials. Photo by John Cheng.
June 28, 2012
SAN JOSE, Calif. - After day one of Olympic Trials, recent Illinois graduate Paul Ruggeri sits in seventh place in the all-around competition after posting an 86.950 Thursday afternoon at the HP Pavilion for a three-day combined total of 263.850 (Visa Championships plus Trials). Maestas finished the day in 10th in the all-around (262.300), while Sender is in 14th (258.400).
"Overall, the day was great," assistant coach Daniel Ribeiro said. "C.J. and Paul went 6-for-6. David started out struggling on the first couple events but finished off strong. I'm really proud of each of them. They came into a really high-pressure situation and competed very well."
Ruggeri highlighted his six-event campaign by topping his floor scores from Visa Championships, posting a 15.750 to put him in third overall on that apparatus with a combined 46.200. The four-time NCAA individual event champion and nine-time All-American also improved his high bar score from Visas, turning in the highest score of the day with a 15.850 to move into third on that event with a three-day 47.000. Ruggeri is also in eighth on parallel bars (44.250).
"I had a day very similar to my second day at Visa Championships," Ruggeri said. "I hit all six events. Nothing was too spectacular, but I was consistent. I really need to do better on vault and floor, and I can put up a much higher score on high bar, too. Part of this selection process is going to be about consistency, so I'm really happy that I hit all six events and have gone the last two days of competition without a fall."
Maestas ended day one in fourth on rings (45.450) and sixth on pommel horse (41.800), while Sender secured the second-highest score of the day on vault, posting a 16.300, which puts him in fourth with a combined 48.100. The 12-time senior national team member will start day two of Trials in seventh on rings (44.550).
The competition 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.
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.
"Saturday, they need to take what they did today, learn from their little mistakes and perfect them," Ribeiro said. "They definitely need a few tenths here and there if they want to make the team."
NBC will televise the men's final day of competition on Saturday from 3-5 p.m. CT. Action starts at 2 p.m.