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THIS WEEK: The 2011 Iowa men’s gymnastics team will make their home debut this weekend with a meet against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday. Start time is 5 p.m. inside the UI Fieldhouse. Last week at the Windy City Invitational, Iowa came away with 332.8 points while Illinois-Chicago finished with 327.3.
LAST TIME OUT: Iowa got the ball rolling last weekend with the season’s first action at the Windy City Invitational, where they saw Illinois-Chicago and four other Big Ten schools. The Hawkeyes came in fourth place out of five teams with 332.8 points. Sophomore Anton Gryshayev earned the top finish for Iowa, a fifth-place finish on rings after scoring a 14.5. Gryshayev also placed fifth on rings last year at the Windy City Invitational. Senior Ben Ketelsen and freshman Javier Balboa placed sixth and eighth on horizontal bar, and Ketelsen also finished with Iowa’s top score on pommel horse with a 13.4. Senior John Haines led the way on floor exercise with a 14.2, while redshirt freshman Jack McClay paced Iowa on parallel bars with a 14.4. Gryshayev and Balboa both scored 15.3 on vault to lead the Hawkeyes in their highest scoring event of the invitational.
A NEW ERA: The Hawkeyes will have a new man at the helm this season, as JD Reive was announced to fill the head coaching vacancy left by the retirement of Tom Dunn after his 30th season. Reive is the seventh men’s gymnastics coach in program history. Reive comes from Stanford, where he served as an assistant coach for seven seasons and helped the Cardinal reach four top-three finishes at the NCAA Championships. He was also honored as the Collegiate Gymnastics Association Assistant Coach of the Year on three occasions. Reive also coached the U.S. National Team at the 2009 Toyota Cup in Japan. Reive graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2000. Assisting Reive will be Dmitri Trouch and Brad Virkler.
Mr. ALL-AMERICAN: Iowa’s Mike Jiang walked away from the 2010 season with All-American honors, placing seventh at the NCAA Championships on pommel horse. Jiang scored a 14.550 and a 14.000 to place among the best in the nation. Jiang scored a 13.500 at the NCAA Qualifier to reach the NCAA Championships. Jiang will be back this season as one of three seniors on the roster.
HAWKEYE NEWCOMERS: There will be an abundance of youth this season for Iowa, with underclassmen out-numbering upperclassmen by a 12-5 margin. The Hawkeyes will also have six newcommers in the gym this season. Iowa City’s own Lance Alberhasky will compete for the Hawks after being named Iowa Gymnast of the Year. Angelo Bronzino of Aurora (IL), David Dyckman of Foster City (CA), Brandon Hill of Sparks (NV), and Samuel Wright of Lafayette (CO) round out the freshmen. Javier Balboa will also be in his first year at Iowa, transferring as a junior from Mexico’s Instituto Technologico y de Estudious Superiores.
2011 BIG TEN GYMNASTS TO WATCH: Iowa garnered some preseason recognition with the release of the 2011 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch list, which featured Iowa’s own Lance Alberhasky and Javiery Balboa. Alberhasky won state titles in five events his senior year, and also placed third on high bar at the Junior Olympic Nationals on top of being a three-time academic All-American. Balboa will be in his first year at Iowa after transferring from Monterrey, Mexico. Balboa placed first on the parallel bars at the 2010 Mexico Nationals. Balboa also placed second in all-around at the 2010 Central American Trials. Balboa is a junior this season.
UP NEXT: Iowa will begin Big Ten play at Illinois the following Saturday with a 1 p.m. start.