No. 3 Illinois blows by Iowa
Mizoguchi, Ruggeri each win two individual titles in rout
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Competing at home for the first time this season, No. 3 Illinois (8-0) gave its fans plenty to cheer about as it downed ninth-ranked Iowa (2-5) 354.900-339.400 on Saturday afternoon at Huff Hall. The Illini claimed the top spot on all six events both as a team and individually, while also setting several new career highs en route to victory.
"We started fantastic on floor, pommel horse, rings and vault," said head coach Justin Spring. "We struggled a little bit on the bars and certainly didn't do as well as we hoped to. We had some late changes in the lineup, so the team went through quite a bit today. I think we still put up a decent score though, so I have no major complaints. It's still early in the season."
Junior Tyler Mizoguchi and senior Paul Ruggeri each took home two individual titles to lead the Illini. Mizoguchi posted career highs in the all-around (89.300) and parallel bars (15.300) to earn a first-place finish, while Ruggeri was victorious on floor (15.600) and high bar (14.400). Mizoguchi also tallied second-place finishes on pommel horse with teammate sophomore Yoshi Mori with a career-high score of 14.800 and high bar (14.000) and tied for third on floor (14.800).
Junior Anthony Sacramento won his second consecutive rings title with a career-best score of 15.300, while Mori captured his first event title of the year with a tie for first on vault and matched his career high with a score of 15.900, and senior Daniel Ribeiro just missed his career best on pommel horse with a score of 15.900 to round out the Illini event winners.
Redshirt sophomore Austin Phillips, who missed all of last season due to a knee injury, looked to be back in top form with a career-high score of 15.000 for a third-place finish on rings. Also finishing in the top three for the Illini was redshirt senior Chad Wiest on floor (2nd; 15.200) and freshman Jordan Valdez, who recorded a pair of third-place finishes on parallel bars (14.400) and high bar (13.900).
As a team, Illinois posted season highs on pommel horse (59.600) and rings (59.200).