Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Teams Ready For NCAA Championships

Paul Ruggeri and the Illini finished third at last year's NCAA Championships, the highest finish of any conference team.

Paul Ruggeri and the Illini finished third at last year's NCAA Championships, the highest finish of any conference team.

April 18, 2012

Championships Central

The seven Big Ten men's gymnastics teams begin competition at the NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships, hosted by the University of Oklahoma, on Thursday. Teams will compete in one of two qualifying sessions on Thursday in advance of the team finals on Friday and individual event finals on Saturday.

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 Friday's 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.

On Thursday at 2 p.m. ET, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Penn State and Ohio State will compete in the first pre-qualifying session, while Illinois and Minnesota will take to the gym for the second session at 8 p.m. Friday's team and all-around finals are scheduled for 8 p.m., while the individual event finals, which will feature the top 10 performers in each event from Friday's session, are slated for 8 p.m. on Saturday.

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 and looks to become the first gymnast to win back-to-back all-around crowns since Penn State's Luis Vargas in 2004 and 2005.