Feb. 15, 2009


Courtesy of Illinois

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The 3rd-ranked Illinois men's gymnastics team took down 4th-ranked Penn State, 345.500-339.800, Saturday night at Huff Hall. Illinois scored a season-high on pommel horse, led by sophomore Daniel Ribeiro, to gain an early lead that held off the Nittany Lions.

“Without Paul Ruggeri many people didn’t give us a chance, but that tells you something about this team,” head coach Yoshi Hayasaki said. “We had a lot of guys step up, especially our young guys. We had a great night on horse, and that gave us a cushion. It was our last two events where we really came through. The good news is that we can still do better on parallel bars and floor.”
The Illini took the top-four spots on pommel horse, led by Ribeiro’s title winning 15.050, to garner their season-best score (58.550). Freshman Tyler Mizoguchi (14.650) and sophomore Roger Pasek (14.550) tallied their personal-best scores to finish second and third, respectively.

Junior Brian Liscovitz captured his season-best on the high bar (14.350) to take the title, while freshman C.J. Padera took second (14.300) and senior Ross Bradley finished third (14.250) to lead Illinois to a 57.050 on the event.

Pasek scored a season-best 15.800 to earn second-place honors on vault, while senior Tyler Williamson led the Orange and Blue on rings, finishing third with a 14.350. Senior Chris Lung finished runner-up on parallel bars (14.350), while Padera was right behind to take third with a 14.200.

Mizoguchi looked good in his first all-around competition, taking second with an 84.800 behind Penn State’s defending national champion Casey Sandy (86.800)

The Illini will travel to Oakland, Calif., next Saturday for the Pacific Coast Class at 9 p.m. CT.