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    Faustino Qualifies For NCAA Vault Finals

    Neil Faustino earned a 9.3 on rings and a 9.625 on vault on Saturday.
    Neil Faustino earned a 9.3 on rings and a 9.625 on vault on Saturday.
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    April 4, 2004

    Champaign, Ill.- University of Illinois at Chicago junior Neil Faustino kept the Flames' rooting interest alive at the 2004 NCAA Men's National Collegeiate Gymnastics Championships as the UIC co-captain advanced to the fourth session vault finals on Saturday evening.

    Faustino placed fourth on vault with an outstanding performance, scoring a 9.625 to advance to Sunday's event finals. The top eight finishers in each event during Saturday's session, including ties up to 10, advanced to Sunday's competition.

    The Stockton, Calif., native will perform in the seventh spot during the vault portion of Sunday's even finals at the Assembly Hall.

    If Faustino places in the top six in the vault rankings, he automatically earns All-America honors.

    Besides qualifying for finals on vault, Faustino finished tied for 15th place in a field of 47 competitors on rings with a 9.3.

    Matt Musielak closed out his outstanding collegiate career at UIC on Saturday by finishing 46th on floor with an 8.1 and 45th on pommel horse with a 7.8.

    In other action, Penn State grabbed the team title with a 223.350, while Penn State's Luis Vargas edged Nissen-Emery Award winner Dan Gill of Stanford for the all-around title with a 56.475.

    Faustino closes out the gymnastics season with his vault performance on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Champaign.