Feb. 11, 2011
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IOWA CITY – The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team came up short in conference action, falling to Minnesota. The No. 9 Hawkeyes were defeated by the seventh-ranked Golden Gophers 336.500-330.100 Friday at the UI Field House.
The Hawkeyes tallied their lowest team total score of the season, but still made it a close meet in the final rotations. Heading into the final two events, the Hawkeyes were only down four points.
“We came into this week with two great weeks of training, totally prepared for it, and totally crumbled under our own pressure,” said head coach JD Reive. “We didn’t hit our sets and focus on what we needed to do, and got a little overwhelmed. We’re disappointed, and ready to get back into the gym and get on the right track.”
Senior Mike Jiang provided a bright spot for Iowa, placing in the top-two on two different events. The returning All-American scored a 14.100 to place first on horizontal bar, Iowa’s final event, and help the Hawkeyes close the gap in team score. The 14.100 score tied for his season-high score on the event. Jiang also finished runner-up on pommel horse with a 13.700.
“Michael did a really good job for us,” said Reive. “He had a disappointing P-Bar dismount – best set I’ve seen him do (on the event), then falls on the dismount. We will fix that. Then on high bar, when we realized the team score was close, he was the one who stepped up for us.”
Senior John Haines earned his highest placing of the season on floor exercise, scoring a 14.200 to place second and lead Iowa on the event. Alberhasky scored a 13.700 (5th) and sophomore Matt McGrath scored a 13.100 (8th).
Sophomores Matt McGrath and Anton Gryshayev both tied on top of the leaderboard on rings, as the classmates scored a 14.700 to best the next best finisher by a full seven tenths. The mark set McGrath’s season high on the event. Meanwhile, Gryshayev kept up his hot streak on the event with the first place finish after breaking the school record on the event against Illinois-Chicago and then again at Illinois.
Alberhasky set a personal season best on vault with a 15.300 score to lead Iowa with a third place finish, tying with McGrath who also scored a 15.300. Jiang placed sixth (15.100) and junior Zach Cazabon placed seventh (14.900).
Junior Javier Balboa scored a personal best 14.200 on parallel bars to place second, while redshirt freshman Jack McClay tallied a 14.000 to finish fourth. Following Jiang on horizontal bar, freshman Sam Wright was the next best finisher for Iowa. Wright placed fourth with a 13.300. Sophomore Broderick Shemansky also placed sixth.
The Hawkeyes will stay at home for their next action, which will be against Nebraska, Reive’s alma mater, on Feb. 19th. Start time is 7 p.m. inside the UI Field House.