Huskies reach national meet

Chuck Ehrlich must not like to see streaks come to an end.

For the 14th straight year, Ehrlich, the NIU men’s gymnastics coach, has sent a gymnast to the NCAA championships. This time, the Huskies, who finished the year ranked 20th in the nation, have two going out to Los Angeles. Carlos Fulcher will compete in vaulting and the parallel bars, while Gene Margiotta reserved a spot in the floor exercise.

The tournament meet will be held Friday and Saturday.

Margiotta qualified with an average floor excercise score of 9.67, which was fifth best in the Mid-East Region. The top five scoring gymnasts are taken from each of four regions, and an additional four gymnasts are selected at large based on average scores.

During the past season, the NIU sophomore either won or shared first-place honors in five of NIU’s 11 dual meets. Among his top results for the year were a 9.80 second-place tally against Ohio State and a winning 9.75 score against Iowa and Michigan.

“Gene has as good a shot as anyone of making it into the finals, which is the top eight,” said Ehrlich. “To finish among the top six and gain All-America honors, it’ll take a very good, clean effort.”

Fulcher posted the fifth-best average among Mid-East gymmen for vaulting at 9.59 and boasted the second-best Mid-East figure of 9.66 for the parallel bars in earning his two berths.

“Carlos has a good chance on both events, but on parallel bars it’ll take a really clean, really solid routine. But again he’s capable,” said Ehrlich.

Fulcher claimed blue-ribbon acclaim in seven of 11 dual meets for the parallel bars.