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    No. 3 Illinois Posts Nation's Best Score To Down No. 11 Men's Gymnastics

    Neil Faustino's win on the still rings propelled the junior to his second consecutive all-around crown on Saturday night.
    Neil Faustino's win on the still rings propelled the junior to his second consecutive all-around crown on Saturday night.
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    Feb. 15, 2004

    Champaign, Ill.- Despite a season-high team score of 211.375 and some career-best performances, the University of Illinois at Chicago men's gymnastics team could not overcome the nation's best team score to date as its sister school, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, posted a school record 221.575 to down the Flames at Huff Hall on Saturday night.

    UIC (4-7) was led by Neil Faustino, who secured his second consecutive all-around title with a season-best 52.450. Teammate Eric Novick followed in second with a career-high 51.500.

    The Flames' team total of 211.375 was their best score of the campaign and their highest mark of all-time under the current FIG scoring rules that went into effect in 2000.

    UIC was able to post season-bests on the still rings (36.800), the vault (36.650), and the high bar (35.275).

    But Illinois (6-3) used a record-setting performance to overcome the Flames' finest meet in four seasons. Along with the Illini's new team score record, Illinois posted school records on the pommel horse (38.150), parallel bars (36.600) and high bar (38.000).

    UIC went toe-to-toe with Illinois on the floor exercise, an event that the Illini lead the nation in, sharing first place as a team on the floor (35.300). The Flames also tied for first on the vault (36.650).

    Faustino continued his fine season by taking first on the still rings, tying his career-high with a score of 9.650. The junior all-arounder also tied for first on the vault, scoring a season-best 9.450.

    Nick Stavros continued to shine on still rings, placing third with a career-best 9.450, while Andrew Krueger excelled once again on floor exercise, placing second with an 8.900.

    Illinois' team score broke Ohio State's 2004 mark of 220.200, set against the Illini on January 31st.



    UIC will be back in action on Sunday, February 29th as the Flames return home to host ECAC rival Temple at the UIC Physical Education Building starting at 2 p.m.