Sophomore Ben Newman had the highest men's score of the night with a 9.75 on the pommel horse and was on the winning team.
Dec. 13, 2002
The University of Illinois men's and women's gymnastics teams competed in the 17th annual Mixed Pairs exhibition meet on Friday night at Huff Hall. One or two members from each squad paired up to form teams and compete against each other. They performed their best four events for the crowd with the top three scores counting toward the team total.
Team Hawaii, with sophomore Ben Newman and freshman Katie Wild, took home the crown with a team score of 29.275. Wild recorded a 9.825 on the balance beam and a 9.70 on the floor, while Newman scored a 9.75 on the pommel horse and a 9.00 on the still rings. Team Georgia, with freshman Adam Pummer and senior Michelle Buranich, took second place with a total of 29.175, while team Utah, consisting of Casey Hayasaki, Lindsay Ransom, Margaret Dann and Lauren Newcomb, was third with a score of 29.05.
Sophomore Ashley Williams recorded the highest individual score of the meet with a dazzling 9.85 on the uneven bars. Ben Newman's 9.75 on the high bar was the best men's score of the evening. Other top performances were Wild's 9.825 on the beam, Buranich's 9.825 on vault, senior Jana Gallagher's 9.825 on the floor exercise, freshman Adam Pummer's 9.70 on the parallel bars and Scott Wetterling's 9.60 on the high bar.
Women's head coach Bob Starkell was very pleased with his team's performances. "I can't remember the last time was had a better preseason meet than this one," said Starkell. "The exciting thing for us is seeing a lot of young people able to contribute on a lot of events that were question marks."
Men's head coach Yoshi Hayasaki feels that the Mixed Pairs meet is crucial for his team to have success down the road. "It's amazing how important this competition is for our guys and girls," said Hayasaki. "It sort of sets the tone for the season. Our competition season starts in a month and this meet gives us an indication of what we need to work on."
Both squads will begin the regular season on the road in early January with the women competing at the Bahamas Breeze Invitational on Jan. 10 and the men heading to the Windy City Invite in Chicago on Jan. 11. The women will open their home schedule on Jan. 17 vs. Auburn, Ball State and Northern Illinois, while the men make their first home appearance with a co-ed meet on Feb. 1 vs. Ohio State.