Men's Gymnastics Sets School Record For Second Straight Meet In Defeat|
Feb. 29, 2004
Chicago, Ill.- What a difference a year makes.
Last season UIC Head Coach "CJ" Johnson witnessed what he called a "disaster" of a campaign for his men's gymnastics team.
This year, though, even in defeat the Flames seemed to have turned the corner that they couldn't get around in 2003.
UIC dropped a heartbreaking meet to ECAC rival Temple on Sunday afternoon at the UIC Physical Education Building, but it was the team's second straight record-breaking performance.
The Flames (4-8) posted a 212.725, a new school record under current FIG scoring rules established in 2000. While the Owls escaped the PEB with a win by scoring a 213.600, UIC showed plenty of heart in their rally attempt en route to a school-best mark.
Despite falls on the pommel horse and high bar, UIC was still able to hang with their conference rivals. As a team the Flames won the floor exercise (36.500) and parallel bars (34.250) while tying with Temple on vault (36.575).
Neil Faustino led the way for the Flames, claiming his third straight all-around crown with a 54.200. Faustino grabbed wins on the still rings (9.700) and the parallel bars (8.850) for the overall win.
Andrew Kreuger continued his torrid pace on the floor exercise, winning the mat title with a career-high 9.250.
UIC also recieved solid contributions from Matt Musielak, who took second on the pommel horse, and Jon Joyce, who finished second on the horizontal bar. Eric Novick was also top-notch, placing third on vault (9.100), parallel bars (8.600) and the all-around (48.700).
UIC set a season-high on the floor exercise, earning a 36.500 overall team score.
Nick Stavros looked strong once again on still rings, but a nasty landing on his left leg left Stavros grimacing in pain for a few moments after his routine. Stavros still placed fourth on rings with a 9.100.
The Flames are back in action on March 5th, when they begin a two-meet weekend series at Air Force in Colorado Springs, Colo., at 7 p.m.