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    Men's Gymnastics Plays Host To 31st Annual Windy City Invitational
     

     
    Senior Anthony Cirullo will lead the Flames into action at the 31st Annual Windy City Invitational
     
    Senior Anthony Cirullo will lead the Flames into action at the 31st Annual Windy City Invitational
     
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    Jan. 11, 2001

    The UIC men's gymnastics team will open the 2001 season as the 14th-ranked team in the nation according to the Gym Info/NCAA Preseason Coaches Poll.

    That ranking will be put to the test as the Flames will host the 31st annual Windy City Invitational on Saturday at the Physical Education Building at 7:00 PM. All seven teams involved with the meet are ranked among the top 14 teams in the 2001 GymInfo/NCAA Coaches Preseason Poll.

    "This weekend starts the entire NCAA men's gymnastics season for these seven teams," UIC head coach CJ Johnson said. "We will see a lot of excitement and some great gymnastics.

    "Perennially, without a failure, we've had national champions or people in the top three in the nation at this meet," Johnson continued. "You will see the nation's best."

    The event features No. 1 Michigan, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 6 Iowa, No. 8 Illinois, No. 10 Michigan State and No. 12 Minnesota. This year's field includes a pair of 2000 NCAA Champions in Ohio State's Jamie Natalie (All-Around) and Michigan's Scott Vetere (Vault, Horizontal Bars).

    The 2001 edition figures to be another great year in the history of this prestigious event. With seven of the top 14 teams in the country squaring off against each other, the Windy City Invitational should serve as a great early-season indicator of which teams and individuals are ready to make a splash on the national scene.

    "You are seeing a darn good competition," Johnson said. "This is a pretty doggone good preview of the NCAA 2001 season, wouldn't it?"