Assistant coach Ben Ketelsen enters his sixth season on the University of Iowa men’s gymnastics staff in 2016-17.
2017 —In 2017, Ketelsen helped Iowa to their 18th straight NCAA Championship appearance.
During session II at the NCAA Championships, Iowa placed fourth for the second straight year in the NCAA Qualifier with a score of 412.500.
The Hawkeyes qualified eight gymnasts for a total of 17 routines for day two of the NCAA Championships. Iowa was led by Andrew Botto who competed in the all-around and placed 14th for the Hawkeyes. The senior was one place shy of being crowned an All-American as he finished ninth (14.450) on rings. Senior Cory Paterson tied for 10th (14.450) on parallel bars and ended up 12th (14.200) on high bar, redshirt junior Mark Springett tied for 26th (13.800) on rings, junior Dylan Ellsworth finished 18th (14.450) on vault and 29th (13.750) on rings, junior Austin Hodges tied for 20th (13.600) on high bar and 27th on pommel horse (13.500), sophomore Rogelio Vazquez finished in 40th (13.100) on parallel bars, sophomore Kevin Johnson finished 45th (11.300) on pommel horse, and freshman Nick Merryman finished 37th (12.950) on pommel horse and 39th (13.250) on rings.
During the Big Ten Championships, Paterson led the way for Iowa, earning the first All-Big Ten recognition of his career with a runner-up result of 14.350 on high bar. Botto finished seventh (13.775) on rings, Springett tallied a fifth-place finish (14.050) on rings, Ellsworth earned a fifth-place finish (14.300) on vault, and junior Elijah Parsells tied for sixth (13.950) on pommel horse. Sophomore Jake Brodarzon was awarded with Iowa’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award following the meet.
The Hawkeyes have had consistent success in the classroom. Seven Hawkeyes were named Academic All-Big Ten for the 2017 winter season. Sophomore Todd Beyer, Botto, Brodarzon, Hodges, Paterson, senior David Spanier, and Springett received the award.
2016–The Hawkeyes made strides in 2016 despite finishing eighth in the nation. For the first time in program history Iowa recorded a team score of 430+ in January, tallying scores of 430.850 on Jan. 23 against Illinois and 431.800 the following day at UIC.
During session II at the NCAA Championships, Iowa placed fourth in the NCAA Qualifier with a score of 423.250, missing the cut for team finals. Senior Jack Boyle was nominated for the Nissen-Emery award given to the country’s most outstanding senior gymnast, Iowa’s first nomination since Jonathan Buese in 2010.
Reive’s squad qualified five gymnasts for day two of the NCAA Championships led by seniors Matt Loochtan and Jack Boyle. The duo competed all-around for the Hawkeyes, placing 10th (84.150) and 14th (83.600), respectively. Sophomore Dylan Ellsworth tied for 26th on vault (14.700) and tied for 18th on parallel bars (14.300). Junior Cory Paterson tied for 37th on high bar (13.750) while sophomore Austin Hodges tied for 25th (14.350).
During the Big Ten Championships, Loochtan led the way for Iowa, earning his first All-Big Ten recognition of his career with a runner-up result of 15.100 on rings. Senior Doug Sullivan placed fifth on pommel horse (14.875), sophomore Austin Hodges placed seventh on pommel horse (14.725), and sophomore Dylan Ellsworth placed fifth on vault (14.400). Sullivan was awarded with Iowa’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award following the meet.
On Senior Night, senior Jack Boyle bested his own Iowa school record of 86.800 with an 87.600 effort in the all-around to lead the Hawkeyes to an upset over Minnesota.
Senior Matt Loochtan earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Week following his performance in a win against Nebraska and Penn State on Feb. 27. Loochtan claimed five event titles on floor (15.350), rings (15.150), vault (14.450), parallel bars (14.850), and high bar (14.450) and set a career-high in all-around at the time with a score of 86.400.
Nine Hawkeyes were named Academic All-Big Ten for the 2015 winter season, tying a program record. Junior Andrew Botto, senior Jack Boyle, senior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid, sophomore Austin Hodges, senior Matt Loochtan, junior Cory Paterson, junior David Spanier, junior Mark Springett, and senior Doug Sullivan received the award.
2015–For the second time in the last three seasons the Hawkeyes finished as one of the top teams in the country, placing sixth at the NCAA Championships and had an All-American honored for the third straight year.
During session two of the NCAA National Qualifiers, Iowa put together one of their best performances of the year with a third place finish and a score of 435.050, qualifying them for the team finals. In the team finals, the Hawkeyes recorded a score of 427.450 and placed sixth nationally.
Junior Jack Boyle was given All-American status for the first time in his career following his performance on high bar at the NCAA Championships. Boyle’s 14.850 was good enough to advance to individual event finals where he tallied another 14.850, qualifying him as an All-American.
Boyle also earned Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors for his efforts in a win over UIC in Iowa’s season opener. He grabbed two event titles on rings (15.400) and floor exercise (14.750).
Junior Doug Sullivan was given All-Conference honors on pommel horse following his performance at the Big Ten Championships. Sullivan placed third at individual event finals, recording a score of 14.800.
2014–The Hawkeyes set several program records throughout the 2014 season, incuding a meet team score of 437.250, a team score on rings of 75.350, a 15.600 on floor by Matt Loochtan, a 15.350 on vault by Matt McGrath, a 15.250 on pommel horse by Doug Sullivan, and an all around score of 86.600 by Jack Boyle.
Senior Matt McGrath earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Week and College Gymnast Association Gymnast of the Week honors for his efforts in Iowa’s win over Nebraska in March. He led the Hawkeyes to victory, winning event titles on floor (15.600) and vault (15.300), and placing second on rings (15.350).
Iowa finished seventh overall at the 2014 Big Ten Championships, with four making individual event finals — Matt McGrath, Mitchell Landau, Matt Loochtan and Doug Sullivan. McGrath finished fourth on floor (15.100), Landau placed fourth on bar (15.025), Sullivan finished fifth on pommel horse (14.55), and Loochtan placed ninth on rings (14.950).
The Hawkeyes missed out on NCAA team finals with a fourth place finish in the qualifier hosted by Michigan, but saw seven advance individually — Matt McGrath, Lance Alberhasky, Mitchell Landau, Jack Boyle, Matt Loochtan, Doug Sullivan and Cory Paterson.
2013–The men’s gymnastics team completed its most successful season in nearly a decade in 2013 with the help of assistant coach Ben Ketelsen. The Hawkeyes finished fifth nationally, marking the program’s best finish since 2000, and finished with three All-America honors, the most since 2005. The fifth-place finish marked the third-best of any Big Ten school in 2013.
During the opening day of the NCAA Championships at Rec Hall in University Park, Pa., the Hawkeyes finished third in the second session of the NCAA National Qualifier. Their score of 426.550 earned them a berth in the team finals, marking the first time Iowa qualified for the team finals since 2006. The top three teams from each session (12 teams total) advanced to the team finals.
At the team finals, the Hawkeyes tallied a score of 426.450 to finish fifth in the nation, marking the program’s best finish since 2000 when it finished third.
Javier Balboa placed sixth in the all-around (85.650) to earn All-America status. The senior became Iowa’s first all-around All-American since Michael Reavis in 2005, and the Hawkeyes’ first individual to earn All-America honors since Matt McGrath in 2011 (vault).
Iowa did not stop there. Balboa and fellow senior Anton Gryshayev earned All-America honors on the final day of competition at the NCAA Event Finals. Iowa had three gymnasts qualify for the NCAA Event Finals. Gryshayev, Balboa, and sophomore William Albert competed on the still rings. Gryshayev led the Hawkeyes with his score of 14.925 to place seventh on the event, while Balboa finished one spot behind with a 14.875. Albert rounded out the top-10, scoring 13.125. The top eight gymnasts on each event received All-America honors.
Balboa and Gryshayev earned the Hawkeyes’ first All-America honors on rings since Chris Camiscioli in 1998. The last time Iowa had two All-Americans on rings came in 1997 (Camiscioli, Dave Nemovitz). Balboa became the first Hawkeye to earn All-America status in multiple events since Michael Reavis in 2005 (vault, all-around).
2013–Iowa finished the 2013 season with three All-America honors — marking the first time since 2005 the program has garnered three or more in a single season.
The Hawkeyes captured three-straight Big Ten dual victories against top-10 opponents in February — defending national champion Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska.
In addition, Balboa, the Big Ten still rings champion, and Broderick Shemansky, both earned All-Big Ten honors. Three Hawkeyes — Balboa, McGrath, Todd Becker — earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades. Balboa was honored by the Big Ten Conference with the Distinguished Scholar Award.
Ketelsen, who hails from Lancaster, Ohio, has been a member of the Iowa men’s gymnastics program for the last six years. He competed at Iowa from 2007-11 before serving as a volunteer assistant coach in 2012.
Ketelsen was a four-year letterwinner for the Hawkeyes and served as team captain in 2010 and 2011. He was a Big Ten event finalist and an NCAA qualifier.
Ketelsen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa in 2011.