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Montague, Booth, Weaver, and Schwartz Make Individual Qualifications

4/9/2019 3:31:00 PM

UIC sophomore Sam Montague will compete in the all-around at the NCAA National Championships, and freshman Kaleb Booth will compete on floor, as the selections for team and individual qualification were announced today.

Freshman Xan Weaver and sophomore Colin Schwartz are alternates in the all-around and pommel horse, respectively.  Booth is also an alternate on vault.
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"We're extremely proud to have two gymnasts represent UIC at nationals, and two more who might get the chance to compete," head coach Charley Nelson said.  "Sam has been solid all year in the all-around.  Kaleb really improved the last few meets and got the scores that pushed him over the hump to qualify.  Xan has had a great freshman year.  Colin has been one of our leaders on pommels.  If the opportunity arises for either or both of them to compete they will be ready."

Montague showed steady improvement in the all-around throughout the season.  He peaked with a score of 76.900 two meets ago, and was just three tenths off that mark at the ECAC Championships on Saturday.  He has UIC's highest qualifying score on floor and high bar.  Montague has the second highest score among all-around individual qualifiers.

Booth scored over 13 on floor in each of the last six meets, had a season high of 13.950, and scored 13.850 at the ECAC meet to place seventh.  His qualifying score of 13.538 was good enough to make him the team's first true freshman to qualify for nationals since Jason Gaides and Brett Valin in 2012.  On vault, he started strong with scores of 13.750 in his first two meets, and later had two scores over 14.

Weaver is the first alternate in the all-around.  Like Montague, he peaked at the end of the season with back-to-back scores over 74, including a season high 75.350, in the last two meets.  The Flames' top performer on parallel bars, Weaver has also made considerable strides on floor and high bar.

Schwartz is a pommel horse alternate for the second time.  A steady, consistent worker, he registered 13.800 as a season high and broke 13 on one other occasion, and scored lower than 12.200 just once. His qualifying score of 12.775 placed him in a tie for the second alternate position.

This is the first time that UIC has had two national qualifiers since 2016.  Montague is the Flames' first all-around qualifier since 2015.  The program has had at least one individual or the team qualify for nationals every year since 2000.
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The top 12 teams in the national rankings, based on an average of their top four scores, will compete for the team national title.  The top five individuals in each event, who are not on a qualifying team, will compete in their respective events for a chance at the individual championship.
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Two qualifying sessions will be held April 19 at the State Farm Center in Champaign.  In each session, the top three teams, and the top three individuals on each event not on a qualifying team, will advance to the championship session April 20.
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