Hawkeyes to Battle in Big Ten Triangular

Feb. 28, 2011

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THIS WEEK: The No. 9 Iowa men’s gymnastics team will take on Minnesota and No. 4 Penn State this Saturday in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes will be meeting the No. 8 Golden Gophers for the second time this season, as start time will be 7 p.m. in Minneapolis.

ON TV: The Big Ten Network will broadcast the event. It will air on tape delay March 12th at 11 a.m. (CT). Mike Leiderman and Rob Brown will call the action.

SCOUTING REPORT: Penn State is 4-0 in dual meets this season, and averages a 352.067 team score. The Nittany Lions have 13 gymnasts ranked. Minnesota moved to eighth in the national rankings, and is 3-1 in dual meets this season. The Golden Gophers average a team score of 343.467, which is just two-tenths ahead of the Hawkeyes. Minnesota has six gymnastics ranked. The Golden Gophers beat Illinois-Chicago in their last event, a team Iowa also defeated.

LAST TIME OUT: Iowa had their best event of the season in their last competition, which resulted in a victory over then seventh-ranked Nebraska in the UI Field House. The Hawkeyes won 348.1-342.7, which was their highest team score of the season. Iowa also set three school records, and notched a season high team event score in all but one event. Sophomore Matt McGrath placed first on floor exercise (15.500). Sophomore Anton Gryshayev tied for first on rings as well (15.200). Gryshayev also set his season high mark on vault with a 15.700 to place first. Sophomore Broderick Shemansky notched a team season high score on parallel bars with a first place finish (14.700). Freshman Samuel Wright earned his first top finish as a Hawkeyes, taking first on horizontal bar (14.300). Shemansky also placed second on pommel horse with a team season high score of 14.800.

FAMILIAR FOE: Iowa will meet Minnesota for the second time this season, as the Golden Gophers won the first meeting. Iowa fell 336.5-330.1 at home on Feb. 11th. Senior Mike Jiang placed first on horizontal bar, while McGrath and Gryshayev tied for the lead on rings to lead Iowa against Minnesota.

IN THE RANKINGS:Iowa has four gymnasts ranked in the top-20. McGrath is ranked eighth on floor and 20th on rings. Gryshayev is ranked eighth on rings. Jiang is ranked 16th on pommel horse and 13th on parallel bars. As a team, Iowa is back in the top 10, earning a No. 9 ranking.

ONE-UPPER: Gryshayev topped himself yet again, setting the school record on rings for the third time. His score of 15.200 against Minnesota beat his previous score of 15.100. Gryshayev owns the top three scores on the event in program history.

McGRATH OWNS FLOOR RECORD: McGrath’s 15.500 score on floor exercise etched his name in the record books. The mark set a school record, which was previously owned by Geoff Reins (15.450 in 2009).

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. Assisting Reive will be Dmitri Trouch and Brad Virkler.

UP NEXT:Iowa will travel to Berkeley to face California on March 12th at 5:30 p.m.