Paul Ruggeri placed second on the floor at the P&G Championships on his way to earning a spot on the U.S. Men's Senior National Team. (Photo courtesy USA Gymnastics)
Aug 19, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Former Illini Paul Ruggeri earned a spot on the 2013-14 U.S. Men's Senior National Team and was also named an alternate for the 2013 World Championships team at the P&G Gymnastics Championships in Hartford, Conn., on Sunday night. Incoming freshmen Matt Foster and Chandler Eggleston earned spots on the seven-member U.S. Men's Junior Elite National Team.
Foster and Eggleston, who will both be freshmen for the Illini in 2013-14, placed third and fourth, respectively, in the all-around junior competition. Foster scored a two-day total of 161.050 and Eggleston scored 159.850. In addition, both Foster and Eggleston won an individual event at the meet. Eggleston dominated the floor exercise with a score of 29.000, more than a point better than his closest competitor. Foster similarly dominated the pommel horse, scoring 27.650 and topping the field by 1.300 points.
"I am so proud of both of them," head coach Justin Spring said. "They came in this summer in their first exposure to collegiate gymnastics and really took on the challenge and training. They really committed to the process, so it's great to see it pay off with spots on the Junior National Team and a national title for each of them."
Ruggeri jumped six spots during the final day to come in ninth in the all-around competition. His second-day all-around score of 88.200 was sixth-best in the finals session. He stuck his floor routines on both days and finished second overall on the event. Ruggeri finished third on the vault after scoring a 15.500 in the finals, the highest score of the day on the apparatus. He placed ninth on both the parallel bars and high bar.
"Paul continues to make us proud," Spring said. "He is a great representative of the University and the program at the highest and most prestigious level."
Another former Illini, Luke Stannard, also competed at the P&G Championships. Stannard placed second on the pommel horse and posted a 15.700 in the finals, the highest score on the event in either day of the meet.
About the Junior Elite National Team
The top seven athletes in the 15-16 age division and the top seven athletes in the 17-18 age division were selected rank order to the Junior Elite National Team using the combined all-around results from two days of competition. Age-eligible juniors may be competing in either the junior or senior division sessions. Only athletes who competed Optional Routines and Technical Sequences at the Junior Olympic National Championships or at the National Qualifier were eligible for the Junior Elite National Team.
About the U.S. Men's Senior National Team
The Senior National Team consists of 15 athletes chosen in the following manner: the top six in the all-around rankings based on the two-day all-around total; the top four athletes (not included in the top six all-around athletes) were selected in rank order using the MPC-approved National Team Points System; the National Team Coordinator will select one team member from among the participants at the 2013 P&G Championships or from petitioned athletes; and the Men's Program Committee will select four team members from among the participants at the 2013 P&G Championships or from petitioned athletes.