The Big Ten men's gymnastics season came to a close at the NCAA Championships, where Illinois claimed the team title. The national victory came after the Illini won their fourth straight Big Ten Championship at the annual conference meet.
Illini Take Home National Title: Trailing by more than two points with two rotations to go, Illinois rallied to finish atop the team standings at the 2012 NCAA Championships. The Illini claimed their 10th national championship, but first since 1989, after posting a final team score of 358.850. The Illini are the third Big Ten program in the last six years to win the national championship (Penn State in 2007 and Michigan in 2010). Penn State finished third and Michigan was sixth in the team finals. RECAP
Three Win Individual National Championships: Illinois' C.J. Maestas and Paul Ruggeri and Michigan's Sam Mikulak each claimed individual titles at the NCAA Championships. Maestas came away with the still rings crown, teammate Ruggeri won the vault title, and Mikulak took home the high bar championship. It marked the fourth straight year Big Ten gymnasts combined for three or more individual crowns at the national meet. RECAP
Ruggeri Claims Nissen-Emery Award: Illinois senior gymnast Paul Ruggeri won the 2012 Nissen-Emery Award, presented annually to the nation's top senior male gymnast, becoming the fourth Illinois gymnast to win the honor. The award honors career excellence in gymnastics along with good sportsmanship and high academic performance. RECAP
Illini Win Big Ten Championship: Totaling a team score of 352.950 points, Illinois held off the field at the 2012 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships to take home the team title. The Illini claimed their fourth straight conference championship, becoming the first conference program to win four in a row since Minnesota achieved the feat from 1977-1980. The win gave Illinois its 27th team championship in program history. RECAP
Maestas Leads Crop of All-Big Ten Honorees: Illinois' C.J. Maestas won Big Ten Gymanst and Freshman of the Year honors following his performance at the Big Ten Championships. The 2012 all-around champion was part of an Illinois sweep of the major awards as Justin Spring was named Coach of the Year. First team All-Conference honorees included Maestas and Paul Ruggeri of Illinois, Broderick Shemansky of Iowa, Sam Mikulak and Adrian de los Angeles of Michigan, Ty Echard of Ohio State and Felix Aronovich, Craig Hernandez and Scott Rosenthal of Penn State. RECAP