April 10, 2012
All seven Big Ten men’s gymnastics teams earned berths to the 2012 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Championships, it was announced on Tuesday. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State will compete in one of two pre-qualifying sessions on April 19 with the hopes of qualifying for the final competitions, which will take place April 20-21. The championships will be held at Lloyd Noble Center on the University of Oklahoma campus.
Penn State boasts the conference’s highest qualifying score, ranking second overall with a total of 354.200. After winning its fourth straight Big Ten Championship, Illinois is fourth overall at 352.337, followed by Minnesota (346.900), Michigan (345.512) and Ohio State (345.012) at Nos. 5, 6 and 7, respectively. Nebraska is 10th (341.587), and Iowa rounds out the Big Ten contingent ranked 11th (338.325) in the field.
The top three teams and the top three all-around competitors not on one of the qualifying teams will advance from each pre-qualifying session to the finals. In addition, the top three individuals from each event not already qualified on a team or as an all-around competitor will also advance.
Last season, three Big Ten teams placed in the team finals, led by Illinois’ third-place finish. Michigan’s Sam Mikulak won the all-around championship in 2011 and looks to become the first gymnast to win back-to-back all-around crowns since Penn State’s Luis Vargas did so in 2004 and 2005.