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    Women's Gymnastics Rolls On To NCAA South Central Regional
     

     
    Megan Fey and the Flames are preparing for the NCAA South Central Regional on Saturday hosted by Missouri
     
    Megan Fey and the Flames are preparing for the NCAA South Central Regional on Saturday hosted by Missouri
     
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    April 11, 2003

    Columbia, Mo. - The UIC women's gymnastics team is now in Missouri, as the Flames prepare to tumble past some of the finest gymnastics teams in the nation, as they make their second-straight and sixth appearance overall in the NCAA Regional hosted by the University of Missouri.

    Competition in the South Central Regional begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Hearnes Center.

    The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Lincoln, Nebraska, April 24-26, hosted by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

    UIC, who comes into the competition ranked 34th according to regional qualifying score, will have its hands full with four top-20 teams and a pesky bunch of Missouri Tigers, who are 26th.

    The Flames, with co-head coaches Peter and Mary Jansson at the helm, will have to deal with #1 UCLA, #12 Oregon State, #13 Iowa, #19 Arizona and Missouri, as they look to make some noise nationally.

    If any UIC team is capable of breaking into the upper echelon of collegiate gymnastics, the 2003 edition of the Flames would be the logical choice.

    With three scores over 196, including a school record of 196.800 on March 23 en route to the Illinois Classic title, this year's Flames are to be reckoned with.

    The young Flames, without a senior on the roster and 11 underclassmen, are led by sophomore all-arounder Alyson Cacciatore and junior Atlin Mitchell, who were both named to the All-Midwest Independent Conference team. Newcomers Veronique Meunier, Jackie Jaworowicz and Holly Bruhn have also played large roles for UIC, along with sophomores Jennifer O'Neil, Stacey Magiera and Jamie Grabowski.

    Also competing in Columbia will be Megan Fey, Regine Charon and Shannon O'Brien.

    Last year, UIC finished sixth in the six-team field at Arizona State, finishing behind UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, BYU and Cal State Fullerton. UIC's best regional finish came back on 1982 when the Flames were runners-up to Michigan.

    Live scoring will be available online at the official Missouri athletics web site, www.mutigers.com.