Ruggeri, Mikulak shine at men's individual meet

The second day of the 2012 Big Ten Men’s Gymnastics Championships saw individual event winners crowned and All-Conference teams and award winners announced on Saturday night. Four schools won event titles, including two each for both Illinois and Michigan. Paul Ruggeri won both individual event championships for the Illini, while Sam Mikulak took home two titles for the Wolverines.

See all the individual results here and check out the All-Big Ten Teams and superlative winners in this post. Also, watch Saturday’s highlights right now.

Ruggeri took home the event title in the floor exercise, totaling 15.800, nearly one-half point ahead of teammate C.J. Maestas for the victory. He later won the vault championship with a mark of 15.500. Mikulak led off the parallel bars rotation with a 15.450 and watched that score hold up for the victory. He then notched a 15.550 on the high bar for his second event championship. Ohio State’s Ty Echard and Penn State’s Craig Hernandez tied for the pommel horse championship, finishing with matching scores of 14.850. Nittany Lion Scott Rosenthal claimed the still rings title after posting a score of 15.900.

[Illinois wins team championship Friday night]

The individual award winners and All-Big Ten teams were announced following competition on Saturday, with Illinois claiming all three individual awards. Illini freshman C.J. Maestas was a double-winner, being voted Big Ten Gymnast and Freshman of the Year, the second year in a row the awards have gone to the same gymnast; Michigan’s Sam Mikulak won the honors last year. Maestas is the first Illini to win Gymnast of the Year since Wes Haagensen in 2007 and the program’s second Freshman of the Year in three seasons, following Yoshi Mori in 2010. Illinois head coach Justin Spring was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year for the third season in a row.

The conference also recognized seven sportsmanship award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.

First Team All-Big Ten
C.J. Maestas, ILL
Paul Ruggeri, ILL
Broderick Shemansky, IOWA
Sam Mikulak, MICH
Adrian de los Angeles, MICH
Ty Echard, OSU
Felix Aronovich, PSU
Craig Hernandez, PSU
Scott Rosenthal, PSU

Second Team All-Big Ten
Zach Chase, MINN
Misha Koudinov, OSU

Big Ten Gymnast of the Year: C.J. Maestas, ILL
Big Ten Freshman of the Year: C.J. Maestas, ILL
Big Ten Coach of the Year: Justin Spring, ILL

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honorees
Josh Wilson, ILL
Matthew McGrath, IOWA
Stacey Ervin, MICH
Travis Heaver, MINN
Andreas Hofer, NEB
Misha Koudinov, OSU
Scott Rosenthal, PSU

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