College Gymnastics: Libertyville’s Hernandez, Sacramento earn All-America honors
Updated: May 8, 2012 4:12PM
It keeps getting better for Libertyville’s Craig Hernandez.
The Penn State freshman earned All-America honors earlier this spring with a second-place finish on the pommel horse at the NCAA championships.
And now, Hernandez has qualified — with four of his Penn State teammates — to 2012 Visa Championships, which will take place at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis on June 7-10.
He earned the berth based on his performance at the U.S. Men’s Qualifier last weekend at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. He will be vying for a spot on the U.S. National Team, as well as a chance to advance to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, which are scheduled for June 28-July 1 in San Jose, Calif.
At the NCAA championships, which were held on April 21 in Norman, Okla., Hernandez took runner-up honors on pommel horse with a 15.350. He added a 10th-place finish on floor exercise (14.500).
His efforts helped the Nittany Lions to a sixth-place finish in the national meet.
Hernandez, who trained at the Buffalo Grove Gymnastics Center, also was a standout at the Big Ten championships. He finished in a tie for first place on pommel horse (14.850), sharing the title with Ohio State’s Ty Echard. He became Penn State’s first pommel horse conference champion since Mike Dutka in 1998.
Meanwhile, Libertyville’s Anthony Sacramento, who also trained at the BG Gymnastics Center, helped Illinois to a national championship. He helped the Fighting Illini cause by earning All-America honors on still rings (7th, 15.050). The senior, who attended Carmel Catholic, also earned All-America honors in 2011 and 2010.
Other area gymnasts on Illinois’ squad include Nick Sacramento, Devin Regan (Libertyville) and Mike Wilner (Stevenson).
At the Big Ten meet, Sacramento placed third on rings (15.500), while Wilner tied for seventh on rings with a 15.100.
And Danny Berardini, who also competed for the BG Gymnastics Center, concluded his freshman season at Oklahoma in outstanding fashion.
The Lake Forest native earned All-America honors in the parallel bars. His score of 14.950 placed him in a third-place tie at the national meet.
Berardini helped the Sooners to a second-place finish in the team standings. He became the first freshman to earn All-America honors at Oklahoma since Jake Dalton in 2010.
Speaking of Dalton, this future Olympian won the parallel bars with a 15.25 score. He added a second on floor (15.950) and thirds on high bar (14.900) and on rings (15.100). He finished in a fifth-tie on vault (15.100).