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    No. 9 Men's Gymnastics Faces No. 3 Illinois In Champaign This Saturday

    Neil Faustino is currently 18th in the entire nation as an all-arounder with an average score of 51.637.
    Neil Faustino is currently 18th in the entire nation as an all-arounder with an average score of 51.637.
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    Feb. 13, 2004

    Chicago, Ill.- The University of Illinois at Chicago men's gymnastics team caps off its three-week road trip this Saturday with a return bout against its sister school squad, the University of Illinois Fighting Illini, in Champaign, Ill., starting at 7 p.m.

    The Flames (4-6, 3-0 ECAC) travel to Huff Hall for the first time this season to take on the Illini (5-3, 4-3 Big Ten) for the second time in 2004. UIC lost to Illinois at the season-opening Windy City Invitational on January 10th, 214.425-208.800, at the UIC Physical Education Building.

    UIC currently ranks ninth in the latest GymInfo rankings, posting a team average of 208.475. Illinois is third in the nation, averaging 216.275, just behind No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 California.

    The Flames are fresh off three wins at the James Madison University Open last Saturday. UIC downed ECAC rivals William and Mary, Navy, and host James Madison with a final tally of 208.650.

    Junior Neil Faustino led the attack with his first all-around win of the season, posting a 52.050 total count. The Flames had at least one competitor finish in the Top 3 of every event last weekend, with sweeps of the top three spots in the floor exercise and the pommel horse.

    Matt Musielak, Jon Joyce, Eric Novick, and Kenny Gesiakowski all earned individual event wins en route to four event victories for the team.

    Illinois returns home this weekend after a two-day trip to the USA Gymnastics Winter Cup in Las Vegas. No team scores were kept, but Illini standouts Adam Pummer and Justin Spring put up strong performances among the nation's best.

    The Flames are aiming to return to Champaign later in the spring, where the 2004 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships will be held from April 2-4 at the Assembly Hall.