Jan. 12, 2014
CHICAGO – The UIC men’s gymnastics team held their first meet of the season at the Physical Education Building against Illinois. Despite their best efforts, the Flames came up short in a 413.100-393.450 final to the Illini. Freshman Jacob Thurber came away with two third-place finishes and senior Joseph Hodges finished second on the high bar.
“I thought it was a great start,” head coach Charley Nelson said. “It was right about where I thought it would be in terms of scoring but much better competition than I expected, especially since half the lineup is freshmen.”
“It was the first time half the guys were making their NCAA debut. For those guys to compete the way they did, it bodes well for our season. Illinois is a past defending national champion, so we didn’t expect to be even as close as we were.”
UIC began on floor, where Thurber scored a 13.500, coming in third place. Freshman Alexander Dumstorf was not far behind with a fourth place finish and a final score of 13.400.
On parallel bars, junior Brett Valin and junior Jason Gaides placed third and fourth, respectively. Valin finished with a final score of 14.200, while Gaides scored 13.600.
Thurber continued to have a strong showing by taking third overall on vault with a final score of 14.700, the Flames best score of the day.
Senior Lukasz Adamczyk had a team-high score for the Flames on pommel horse with 13.150, and Hodges led the Flames on rings scoring 13.350.
UIC collected its best result of the day on high bar, where Hodges placed second with a score of 13.650. The Flames defeated the Illini in the event by a score of 65.400-64.300.
In the all-around, Illinois’ Thomas Gibbs finished with the top score of 82.550, followed by Hodges with a 78.200.
“I am really proud of the guys and we will come back next weekend, hopefully even stronger and be ready to make a nice showing at Windy City,” Nelson continued.
The Flames are back at the Physical Education Building on Saturday, Jan. 18, when they host the annual Windy City Invitational. Competition is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 p.m. (CT).