UIC Wins 2004 ECAC Men's Gymnastics Championship|
March 20, 2004
Chicago, Ill.- After a record-breaking season that erased memories of a disappointing finish in 2003, the University of Illinois at Chicago men's gymnastics team put an exclamation point on their 2004 campaign by capturing the Eastern College Athletic Conference Men's Gymnastics Championship with a school-record 213.650 in front of their home crowd at the UIC Physical Education Building on Saturday.
The Flames' victory, their best ECAC finish by far, earned UIC an automatic team bid to the 2004 NCAA National Collegiate Gymnastics Championships in Champaign, Illinois from April 2-4.
UIC led most of the way, with William & Mary, Army and Temple lurking behind the Flames throughout the contest. A shaky horizontal bar performance by the Flames made the final scores look close, but superb team performances on still rings and pommel horse put the Flames in the driver's seat for most of the meet.
Army finished in second with a 211.650, followed by William & Mary with a 211.475. Temple finished fourth with a 211.425, with Navy (206.700), Springfield (203.100), James Madison (198.700), Southern Connecticut State (192.925) and MIT (158.00) rounding out the field.
UIC's 213.650 is their best under current FIG scoring rules established in 2000. The final team tally marked the fourth time that the Flames have broken their team score record this season.
Nick Stavros lit a fire in the home crowd after an amazing pommel horse performance, posting a career-best 9.650 that got a rousing ovation from the PEB fans. Stavros also had a stellar rings routine that earned a 9.500.
Faustino's still rings performance was outstanding, earning the junior a 9.650, while his vault was equally impressive at a 9.400.
Freshman Kyle True posted a career-high 9.400 on vault to place first in the event, keeping him on course for the vault finals on Sunday.
UIC's previous best ECAC finish was last year's fourth-place standing at a 204.950.
UIC will send eight competitors to compete in the ECAC Individual Event Finals tommorrow at 2 p.m. at the PEB.