Illini gymnasts vault to second

Illini gymnasts vault to second

Travis Romagnoli and Jon Corbitt placed second and third, respectively, on the high bar with scores of 9.75 and 9.70 to lead Illinois' men's gymnastics team to a second-place finish at Saturday's Windy City Invitational in Chicago.

Romagnoli was second on the parallel bars (9.65) and tied for third in all-around (56.0).

Iowa won the meet.

"This is a positive way to start the season," UI coach Yoshi Hayasaki said.

In women's gymnastics: Illini fall.

Despite strong performances from a pair of freshmen, the UI dropped its Big Ten opener to host Penn State, 194.90-191.925.

Phaedra Dixon tied for second on the bars and finished with the fifth-best score in UI history (9.825). Another first-year gymnast, Gina Wiechmann, tied for third on the balance beam (9.85) with teammate Kim Berres and placed third in the all-around (38.225).

In swimming and diving: Illini streak over.

Illinois' unbeaten run in dual meets ended Saturday in South Bend, Ind., No. 24 Notre Dame pulling out a 175-125 win. The 22nd-ranked Illini now are 8-1.

Erin Didde, Emily Wang and Anna Christiansen combined for four wins for the UI.

Decatur's Didde won the 100 back in 58.50 seconds and the 200 back in 2:03.56. Wang won the 100 free in 52.29, and Christiansen won the 200 individual medley in 2:09.09.

Also winning for the UI: the 400 free relay team of Traci Bollinger, Jennifer Sands, Marcie Black and Wang.

"I feel good about the way we swam," UI coach Jim Lutz said. "Notre Dame is sharp where we are at our weakest, and they are strong where we're strong. Nobody rolled over and played dead."

The UI hosts the Illini Classic next weekend.

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