Paul Ruggeri (pictured above) and C.J. Padera were selected Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch.
Dec. 15, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois men's gymnastics team was selected second by conference coaches in the Big Ten preseason poll released Wednesday. Last year's national champion, Michigan, checked in at the top spot, while Ohio State was picked third, followed by Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa. Each coach also chose two gymnasts to comprise a 12-member Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch list, which included returning Illini Big Ten individual event champions C.J. Padera and Paul Ruggeri.
Illinois was ranked fourth nationally in the 2011 GymInfo Preseason Coaches poll after placing fourth at the NCAA Team Championships and claiming their second straight Big Ten title.
Back for Illinois are reigning Big Ten Champions seniors Daniel Ribeiro (pommel horse) and Paul Ruggeri (vault, high bar) and junior C.J. Padera (parallel bars), as well as 2010 All-Americans redshirt senior Chad Wiest (floor exercise) and juniors Tyler Mizoguchi (all-around) and Anthony Sacramento (rings).
The Illini open the season on the road at the Windy City Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 15 in Chicago and will return to Huff Hall on Saturday, Jan. 29 to host Iowa in their home opener.
2011 Big Ten Preseason Poll
3. Ohio State
4. Penn State
2011 Preseason Big Ten Men's Gymnasts to Watch
C.J. Padera, Jr. - Illinois
Paul Ruggeri, Sr. - Illinois
Lance Alberhasky, Fr. - Iowa
Javier Balboa Gonzalez, Jr. - Iowa
Syque Caesar, Jr. - Michigan
Devan Cote, Jr. - Michigan
Harris Coleman, So. - Minnesota
DJ Repp, Jr. - Minnesota
Sean Regan, Sr. - Ohio State
Brandon Wynn, Sr. - Ohio State
Matt Albrecht, Sr. - Penn State
Felix Aronovich, So. - Penn State