Dec. 15, 2010
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - After earning its fourth NCAA Championship in 2010, Michigan has been chosen as the 2011 Big Ten men's gymnastics preseason favorite by the conference coaches, the Big Ten announced on Wednesday. The Wolverines are followed by defending Big Ten Champion Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa in the 2011 preseason poll. The coaches also selected two gymnasts from their respective teams to a Gymnasts to Watch list.
Michigan enters the 2011 season ranked second in the nation by GymInfo. The Wolverines, led by 2010 NCAA All-Around Champion and Big Ten Gymnast of the Year Chris Cameron, return three All-Americans from their national championship squad. Juniors Syque Caesar and Devan Cote enter the season as Michigan's Gymnasts to Watch.
Illinois takes second in the coaches poll after reeling in its second-straight and 25th overall Big Ten title in 2010. The Illini debut at No. 4 in the GymInfo national poll, matching their fourth-place finish at last season's NCAA Championships. Led by Big Ten parallel bars champion C.J. Padera and high bar champion Paul Ruggeri, Illinois returns 11 letterwinners.
Ohio State rounds out the poll's top three after finishing fourth at the conference championships and sixth at the NCAA Championships last season. The Buckeyes return Big Ten and national still rings champion Brandon Wynn along with fellow Gymnast to Watch Sean Regan. Ohio State enters the 2011 campaign ranked sixth in the country.
Penn State took third place at the 2010 Big Ten Championships and fourth in the NCAA Qualifier en route to a No. 7 preseason national ranking entering 2011. Reigning Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year Felix Aronovich, along with senior Matt Albrecht, serve as the Nittany Lions' Gymnasts to Watch heading into the season.
Minnesota holds a No. 8 ranking in the national poll after finishing fifth at last season's conference championships and fourth at its NCAA Qualifier. The Golden Gophers are led by junior D.J. Repp and sophomore Harris Coleman, the team's Gymnasts to Watch entering the 2011 slate.
With new head coach J.D. Reive at the helm, Iowa looks to improve upon its sixth-place finish at the 2010 Big Ten Championships. The Hawkeyes enter the season ranked 10th in the country. Junior Javier Balboa Gonzalez leads the Iowa upperclassmen as a Gymnast to Watch, while fellow Gymnast to Watch and freshman Lance Alberhasky headlines the Hawkeye newcomers.
2011 BIG TEN MEN'S GYMNASTICS PRESEASON POLL
3. Ohio State
4. Penn State
2011 BIG TEN GYMNASTS TO WATCH
C.J. Padera, Jr., Illinois
Paul Ruggeri, Sr., Illinois
Lance Alberhasky, Fr., Iowa
Javier Balboa Gonzalez, Jr., Iowa
Syque Caesar, Jr., Michigan
Devan Cote, Jr., Michigan
Harris Coleman, So., Minnesota
D.J. Repp, Jr., Minnesota
Sean Regan, Sr., Ohio State
Brandon Wynn, Sr., Ohio State
Matt Albrecht, Sr., Penn State
Felix Aronovich, So., Penn State