Dec. 14, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Illinois has earned the top spot in the Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Preseason Coaches' Poll, the conference office announced on Wednesday. The Fighting Illini stand atop the poll after winning their third consecutive Big Ten Championship a season ago and placing third at the NCAA Championships. Michigan followed at No. 2 in the poll, while Penn State rounded out the top three. Ohio State ranked fourth, followed by Minnesota in fifth, Nebraska in sixth and Iowa in seventh.
The Big Ten also announced its 2012 Gymnasts to Watch List, with two 2011 individual NCAA champions headlining the list. Illinois senior Tyler Mizoguchi earned the national crown on parallel bars, while Michigan sophomore Sam Mikulak, the defending Big Ten Gymnast and Freshman of the Year, claimed the all-around title. Three All-Big Ten performers from a season ago also appear on the list, as Minnesota's Russell Dabritz and DJ Repp and Ohio State's Kris Done earned All-Conference honors last year.
Iowa juniors Javier Balboa and Matt McGrath, Nebraska senior Andreas Hofer and Penn State junior Felix Aronovich round out the group of upperclassmen on the list.
Several underclassmen have been tabbed gymnasts to watch, as Illinois freshman C.J. Maestas, Michigan freshman Adrian de los Angeles, Nebraska sophomore Wyatt Aycock, Ohio State sophomore Misha Koudinov and Penn State freshman Craig Hernandez decorate the list.
The complete Big Ten Men's Gymnastics Preseason Coaches' Poll and Gymnasts to Watch List can be found below.
BIG TEN MEN'S GYMNASTICS PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
3. Penn State
4. Ohio State
BIG TEN MEN'S GYMNASTS TO WATCH LIST
C.J. Maestas, Fr., Illinois
Tyler Mizoguchi, Sr., Illinois
Javier Balboa, Jr., Iowa
Matt McGrath, Jr., Iowa
Adrian de los Angeles, Fr., Michigan
Sam Mikulak, So., Michigan
Russell Dabritz, Sr., Minnesota
DJ Repp, Sr., Minnesota
Wyatt Aycock, So., Nebraska
Andreas Hofer, Sr., Nebraska
Kris Done, So., Ohio State
Misha Koudinov, So., Ohio State
Felix Aronovich, Jr., Penn State
Craig Hernandez, Fr., Penn State