Dec. 2, 2000
CHAMPAIGN, Illinois - Team Romania, comprised of junior Sean-Paul Crawford and senior Gina Weichmann, won the 15th annual Mixed Pairs exhibition for the Illinois gymnastics squads at Huff Hall Saturday night. The duo had a team score of 38.050 through the meet's four rotations. The pair of Linh Hoang and Michele Mesik competed as Team Cuba for second place while Team Italy of Eric Nishimoto, Allison Berg and Erik Garnett, took third.
Team Romania was trailing after the third rotation, but Weichmann, the 1999 Big Ten Beam Champion, scored a 9.90 on the final rotation on beam to seal the victory. Lisa Pellegrinetti of Team Ukraine wowed the audience with her 9.75 score on floor exercise. Hoang led the men's scores of 9.85 on rings. Senior All-American Leo Oka also scored well on rings for Team France with his 9.75.
"Overall, I think we did well," said men's head coach Yoshi Hayasaki. "There are some things we need to work on our release moves on high bar. We had some good performances from our seniors, especially Linh Hoang and Leo Oka. The freshman did as well as we expected. The freshman made some mistakes but it was their first meet."
"I think we performed well under this format," said head women's coach Bob Starkell. "Under this format, we do not have the warm-up periods like we do in regular meets. I thought Lisa Pellegrinetti did well on floor for competing so late. We competed during the entire meet, which is a good sign.
Both teams will begin their respective seasons on January 13. The women will host Big Ten rival Penn State at Huff Hall at 7 p.m. The men will travel to Chicago to compete in the Windy City Invitational and return to Huff Hall January 20 to host Minnesota.