Feb. 24, 2013
CHICAGO – Brett Valin set a school record and personal best on vault with his first-place finish as the UIC men's gymnastics team came away with its best score of the season with a 409.600 against No. 6 Minnesota at the Physical Education Building Sunday afternoon. Lukasz Adamczyk (pommel horse) and Dan Zerbel (horizontal bar) also captured first place for the Flames.
"It was just fantastic today," head coach Charley Nelson said. "We are still not firing on all cylinders, there is still work to do, but with a season-high score, you cannot complain too much. We need to be ready to go and hit the floor right away because that was the difference between another three or four points. So if we pick it up a little bit, we will be great."
Valin locked in first on vault with his score of 14.950, .250 ahead of the second-place finisher. UIC was strong on pommel horse, as Adamczyk led the way with a 14.900, 1.300 more than his previous season best, and Joseph Hodges scored a second-place 14.300.
Zerbel concluded competition on a high note with first- and second-place finishes. Zerbel ousted his competitors on horizontal bar with a leading score of 14.600 and claimed second on parallel bars with a 14.300.
Other notable team-best performances for the Flames came from Jason Gaides on floor with a 13.700, Trent Jarrett on rings with a 14.050 and Hodges with the all-around score of 82.900. Gaides also placed fourth on pommel horse (13.750) and vault (14.350).
"I was really happy with what everyone did," Nelson added. "Brett Valin had a great vault and Lukasz Adamczyk on pommel horse was a really solid hit, and just the team in general from rings on; rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar. Next week we go to five up, five count which will be a real challenge. It will be a challenge for making the line up and it will be a challenge for consistency. But so far today, it feels pretty good."
UIC looks toward a heavy schedule next weekend, facing No. 12 Air Force twice in three days. The Flames host the Falcons at the Physical Education Building on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) before welcoming them back on Sunday for a 1 p.m. start.