Jan. 7, 2000
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The University of Illinois' gymnastics teams open the 2000 season with a season-opening dual on the road at Illinois-Chicago Saturday, January 8 with action set to begin at 7 p.m.
The Fighting Illini women's squad faced the Flames four times last season and posted a 1-2-1 record. Illinois-Chicago won the season-opening dual in Champaign and later at a meet at Louisiana State, but the Illini rebounded and tied UIC at the Illinois State Meet and placed ahead of the Flames at the NCAA Region 3 Championships.
The women are led by a strong junior class which includes the school's record holder in the all-around (Phaedra Dixon), the returning Big Ten balance beam champion (Gina Wiechmann) and the school record holder on floor (Carissa Ericson).
The men's squad faced each other two times last season with the Illini claiming wins in both contests. The Fighting Illini topped the Flames at the Windy City Invitational and on a Valentine's Day dual in Chicago.
The Illini will field a stong, deep squad this season including seven-time All-American Travis Romagnoli and NCAA qualifiers Leo Oka, Linh Hoang, Eric Nishimoto, Sean-Paul Crawford and Greg Cook.