Men's Gymnastics Wraps Up Record-Breaking Season At NCAA Championships

Neil Faustino finished fifth in the all-around during the first qualifying session of the NCAA Championships on Friday.
Neil Faustino finished fifth in the all-around during the first qualifying session of the NCAA Championships on Friday.

April 2, 2004

Champaign, Ill.- The University of Illinois at Chicago men's gymnastics team completed competition at the 2004 NCAA Men's National Collegiate Gymnastics Championships on Friday afternoon, finishing fifth out of six teams with a 207.775 in the first qualifying session at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall.

Penn State grabbed the top spot in the first session with a 218.700, followed by Michigan (218.450) and two-time defending national champion Oklahoma (217.750). Those three teams will move onto the team finals held on Saturday, along with the top three teams from tonight's second qualifying session, which begins at 7 p.m.

Iowa captured fourth place with a 216.900, followed by the Flames and ECAC rival Army, who finished a close sixth with a 207.675.

UIC was led by Neil Faustino, who tied for fifth in the session with an all-around score of 52.050. The junior took sole possession of fifth in the still rings rankings with a strong 9.425 while also leading the team on vault with a 9.275, placing ninth in the first group.

The Flames also received stellar performances from outgoing senior co-captains Matt Musielak and Jon Joyce. Musielak led the team on parallel bars with an 8.6, on pommel horse with an 8.8, and on floor with a tenth-place score of 9.2.

Joyce pitched in a team-leading 8.550 on high bar.

Faustino and Musielak qualified for two individual event finals each, with Faustino competing on vault and rings while Musielak will take to the floor exercise and pommel horse.

Both will compete in the event finals on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Assembly Hall.

UIC was also paced by Nick Stavros, who finished 13th on rings with a 9.125 and tied with Faustino on pommel horse with an 8.3.

UIC trailed Army for much of the session, but the Flames posted the fourth-best floor score of the group, earning a 36.250 in the event that helped topple the Black Knights.



Andrew Krueger's 9.150 on floor, along with Musielak's strong performance and solid contributions from Joyce (9.0) and Faustino (8.9), helped the Flames move into fifth.

Overall UIC finished fifth on vault (36.075), fifth on high bar (33.200), and sixth on pommel (33.900), rings (36.075) and parallel bars (33.250).

The Flames will know their final ranking at the championships after tonight's second session. For complete results of this year's championships click here.


AA - Linas Gaveika, Iowa; Jeff Anderson, Air Force, Michael Reavis, Iowa

FX - Shawn Stone, Iowa; Matt Musielak, UIC; David Ramos, Temple

PH - Eric Block, Iowa; Michael Kelly, Iowa; Matt Musielak, UIC

SR - Nyika White, Temple; Brian Lee, Army; Neil Faustino, UIC

VT - Theo Maes, Temple; Neil Faustino, UIC; Matt Beiler, Iowa

PB - Eric Block, Iowa; Matt Metzger, Iowa; Michael McNamara, Iowa

HB - David Ramos, Temple; Michael McNamara, Iowa; Bryan Bourland (Matt Metzger scrached)