No. 9 Hawkeyes Come Up Short in Minneapolis

March 5, 2011

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MINNEAPOLIS — The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team fell to tough competition on the road, facing No. 4 Penn State and No. 8 Minnesota in a triangular at Minneapolis. The No. 9 Hawkeyes finished in third place with a score of 333.8. The undefeated Nittany Lions won with a 351.6, while the Golden Gophers finished runners up with a 344.6.

Iowa couldn’t quite keep up the pace coming off their best performance of the season, hampered by an injury to senior returning All-American Mike Jiang. Jiang was sidelined due to a concussion. After setting the school record on floor exercise last week, sophomore Matt McGrath led Iowa in four of the six events.

“It was a good meet for us. We were pretty shallow with injuries and were playing really tough competition, but I wasn’t displeased with the end result for us,” said head coach JD Reive. “I think this will be a good stepping stone for us into the next couple weeks.”

McGrath’s best finish came on floor exercise again, as he placed tied for third. McGrath had another solid routine, and scored a 14.900. Ben Ketelsen also placed in the top-ten for Iowa, as the senior scored a 14.200 to finish ninth.

Ketelsen also finished strong for Iowa on pommel horse, scoring a 13.600 to finish tied in fourth place. Junior Zach Cazabon placed ninth (12.800).

“Ben did a great job for us. It is good to have him back, and we are pleased that he is doing what he is supposed to do,” said Reive of Ketelsen, who was also slowed down by an injury last week. “He showed up for us today, and was a leader.”

A 14.600 score on rings from McGrath led the Hawkeyes on the event, as the score put McGrath in fourth. Broderick Shemansky and Angelo Bronzino also scored a 13.800 on the event.

McGrath provided yet another top-five finish for Iowa, this time on vault. McGrath scored a 15.500 on the event. Ketelsen also finished with a score of 15.200, and sophomore Todd Becker scored 15.000. Iowa finished with a 60.500 team score on vault.

The usual suspects came away with the top finishes for Iowa on parallel bars, as McGrath scored a 13.900 (7th) and Ketelsen finished with a 13.700 (10th).

Shemansky continued to provide Iowa with solid routines on horizontal bar, as the sophomore tallied a score of 14.200 to finish in 7th. Javier Balboa wasn’t far behind with a 14.100, and Ketelsen scored a 14.000.

“We’re ready to keep moving forward,” said Reive. “We can go back to the gym and work on getting healthy and improving, and finish this season strong.”

Iowa will travel to Berkeley to face California in the next event of the season. Start time is 9:30 p.m. (CT) on March 12th.

Team Standings1. Penn State, 351.6002. Minnesota, 344.6003. IOWA, 333.800