April 6, 2012
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 on Friday night at Carver Hawkeye Arena. The Illini claim 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 gives Illinois its 27th team championship in program history.
Illinois held off second-place Michigan, which finished the competition with a score of 351.850, for the championship. Penn State earned a third-place team finish with 350.000 points, while Minnesota came in fourth with 345.800 points. Ohio State came in fifth (343.650), Iowa was sixth (342.800) and Nebraska (340.700) rounded out the team standings.
Illinois' C.J. Maestas was crowned the Big Ten all-around champion, becoming the first Illini to win the title since Wes Haagensen did so in 2007. Maestas finished with an all-around total of 89.500, and held off Michigan's Sam Mikulak, last year's all-around champion, who scored 88.900 points. Illinois' Paul Ruggeri finished third in the all-around, totaling 86.850 points.
The final session of the 2012 Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Championships, featuring the individual event finals, is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. The top 10 individual finishers in each of Friday's events advance to Saturday's finals, which will be broadcast live on BTN.