Jan. 12, 2009
THIS WEEK This week the University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team will open the 2009 season at the Windy City Invitational Saturday in Chicago, IL. The meet is hosted by the University of Illinois-Chicago. Competition will begin at 7 p.m. in the UIC Physical Education Building. Competing teams for the Invite include UIC, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State.
SEASON PREVIEW The Hawkeyes begin the season as the ninth-ranked team in the country. Iowa finished sixth at the 2008 Big Ten Championships.
LAST YEAR AT THE WINDY CITY INVITE Iowa placed seventh with a score of 331.750. Stanford won the meet, scoring 354.450. Freshman Ben Ketelsen tied for third in the all-around, scoring 82.450. Senior Geoff Reins placed third on vault with a score of 16.200 and tied for sixth on the floor exercise with a 15.050.
SCOUTING THE HAWKEYES Iowa returns eight letterwinners from 2008 when it finished with a 1-12 record overall and a sixth-place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Former all-American Geoff Reins (vault) and senior Diego Mercado- Austin and junior Jonathan Buese will lead the Hawkeyes into the new season. Zach Cazabon, Blaine Klaczak, Taylor McClendon, Edwin Plys, Tayler Scharman, Jacob Swafford and Adam Wilson are all newcomers to the 2009 squad. Team co-captains for the 2009 season are Diego Mercado-Austin and Jonathan Buese.
HEAD COACH Tom Dunn In his 28th year at Iowa, Head Coach Tom Dunn, has recorded a 213-112-2 record at Iowa. In 1998 and 2006, Dunn was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and College Gymnastics Association Central Region Coach of the Year. He has led the Hawkeyes to 17 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. Iowa has competed at the NCAA meet 17 of the past 22 seasons. Dunn has also coached 32 individuals to 64 all-America honors and 20 gymnasts to 32 Big Ten titles.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Tom Dunn “I am very happy that we are starting the season a week later this year, but we could still use an additional week to recover from a rash of illness and injury. I anticipate one third of our 12 man team will be freshmen, one third will coming off knee and ankle injuries and one third will be reasonably ready to go. The Big Ten Championships is in April, and until then we will have to progress one day at a time.”