Iowa To Compete In Last Home Meet This Saturday

Feb. 16, 2011

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THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team will be at home one last time, taking on Nebraska this Saturday. The Hawkeyes will face off with the No. 7 Cornhuskers inside the UI Field House at 7 p.m.

SCOUTING REPORT: The to-be Big Ten newcomers are averaging 342.400 points a meet, very similar to Iowa’s 337.450. In their last competition, Nebraska edged out Illinois-Chicago, but fell to Oklahoma. Nebraska is 0-2 against Big Ten teams this season. Iowa holds the all-time series advantage 26-15-1. Nebraska has five gymnasts ranked.

LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes fell to No. 7 Minnesota inside the UI Field House in their last competition. Iowa finished with a 330.100 team score, 6.4 points shy of the Golden Gophers. Senior Mike Jiang led the Hawkeyes, placing first on horizontal bar (14.100) and second on pommel horse (13.700). Sophomores Matt McGrath and Anton Gryshayev tied for first place on rings, with each scoring a 14.700. Senior John Haines led Iowa on floor exercise with a second place finish (14.200).

IN THE RANKINGS: Iowa has two gymnasts ranked in the top-20. Gryshayev is currently ranked 14th on rings, while senior Ben Ketelsen is ranked 17th on pommel horse. As a team, the Hawkeyes dropped out of the top-12.

ALMA MATER BATTLE: Head coach JD Reive will be facing his alma mater this weekend when Iowa faces Nebraska. Reive graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2000.

ONE-UPPER: After setting the school record on rings last week, Sophomore Anton Gryshayev one-upped himself against Illinois to break the record yet again. Gryshayev scored a 15.100, which gives him the top two scores on the event in school history. Gryshayev first set the school record on rings with a 14.900 against Illinois-Chicago. The previous holder was Reid Urbain, who scored a 14.800 in 2009. The open-ended scoring system has been in place since 2008.

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. Assisting Reive will be Dmitri Trouch and Brad Virkler.

Mr. ALL-AMERICAN: Iowa’s Mike Jiang walked away from the 2010 season with All-America 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 is 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 Javier 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 hit the road with a contest at Minnesota on March 5th at 7 p.m.