Jan. 25, 2000
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - After being ranked second in the nation last week, the Illinois men's gymnastics team fell to fifth in the NCAA/Gym Info rankings after strong performances by Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State and Iowa in the previous weekend's competition.
For the first three weeks of the season, the NCAA/Gym Info rankings are based on the team's top scores. The Illini posted a score of 225.325 in their season-opening meet, but the mark was not strong enough to hold the position after last weekend's competition. Michigan, the defending national champions, defeated Iowa 228.825-225.625 to take the top spot (Iowa's score ranks fourth). No. 2 Penn State blasted Temple 228.375-215.45, while No. 3 Ohio State downed Michigan State 228.275-221.925.
Junior all-arounder Leo Oka is ranked in five events, including second in the all-around and fifth on floor. Senior, seven-time All-American Travis Romagnoli holds the second spot on high bar and 17th in the all-around. Junior Linh Hoang ranks second on parallel bars with teammate Greg Cook ranked third on the same event.
"All I can say is we have not put together all of our events yet," 24th-year head coach Yoshi Hayasaki. "We are adding more difficulty to the routines, but that will work itself out in the long run. It is a long season and we need to make sure we are doing the right things now to ensure that we come out on top at the end of the season at Big Tens and the NCAA Championships."
The Illini will open their home season Saturday at Huff Hall when they host Michigan State in a co-ed, dual conference meet. The meet is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
NCAA/GYM INFO RANKINGS
2. Penn State
3. Ohio State
10. Michigan State