Hawkeyes to Take On Top-Ranked Illinois

Feb. 18, 2004

THIS WEEK — The sixth-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team will open the Big Ten season by hosting top-ranked Illinois Saturday. Competition will begin at 2 p.m. in the UI Field House and admission is $3.

SCOUTING ILLINOIS — The Fighting Illini are 6-3 this season, and 2-0 in the Big Ten. In a 221.575-211.375 win over Illinois-Chicago last weekend, the Illini posted the nation’s top score and broke eight school records. Illinois is led by junior Ben Newman and sophomores Justin Spring and Adam Pummer. Yoshi Hayasaki is the head coach.

LAST TIME OUT– Junior Kenny Lin and sophomores Michael Reavis and Michael McNamara represented the Hawkeyes at the U.S.A.G. Winter Cup. Iowa’s top finish was Reavis’ tie for 12th on floor with a 9.15. On the still rings, Linn tied for 24th (8.825). Revais placed 42nd (49.2) in the all-around, while McNamara tied for 61st (46.65).

IN THE RANKINGS — The Hawkeyes are sixth in the GymInfo National Rankings. Iowa is also nationally-ranked in all six individual events. The Hawkeyes are the second-ranked team on vault, are ranked third on floor exercise and fifth on rings. The Hawkeyes are also ranked sixth on pommel horse and horizontal bar, and seventh on parallel bars.

NATIONALLY-RANKED INDIVIDUALS — Hawkeye junior Linas Gaveika and sophomore Michael Reavis lead the Hawkeyes in the rankings. Both are nationally-ranked in two events and the all-around. Gaveika is third on horizontal bar, ninth on pommel horse and seventh in the all-around. Reavis is sixth on vault, seventh on floor exercise and 19th in the all-around. On the still rings, senior Matt Metzger is 18th, while fellow senior Eric Block is 10th on parallel bars.

QUOTING COACH Tom Dunn — “We are anxious to start competing again after three weeks off. The team has made some good progress during this training period, but we have also sustained some injuries that may, in the short run, counter the gains we have made. Illinois, on the other hand, has their best team in several years and comes to Iowa City after scoring the highest score in the nation last weekend in Champaign. This is what Big Ten gymnastics is all about: No. 1 vs. No. 6, head-to-head in the Iowa Field House.”

NEXT COMPETITION — The Hawkeyes will travel to Minneapolis, MN, February 28 to take on No. 9 Minnesota.

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