Hawkeyes Head West for Top 10 Showdown

March 9, 2011

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THIS WEEK: The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team will face No. 3 California at Berkeley on Saturday. Start time is 9:30 p.m. (CT).

SCOUTING REPORT: California was ranked third in the latest polls. The Golden Bears also have four individuals ranked in the top 20. The Golden Bears average a score of 353.383. California’s last competition was against top-ranked Oklahoma, where they came up three points short of the Sooners. California is 1-2 in dual meets this season.

LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes finished with of a score of 338.100 in Minneapolis, where Iowa finished third to No. 5 Penn State and No. 8 Minnesota. Sophomore Matt McGrath led Iowa in four of the six events. McGrath scored a 14.900 on floor exercise (third), 14.600 on rings (fourth), 15.500 on vault (fourth) and 13.900 on parallel bars (seventh). Senior Ben Ketelsen led Iowa with a fourth place finish on pommel horse after scoring a 13.600. Ketelsen, who was returning from a knee injury, also placed ninth on floor exercise (14.200) and 10th on parallel bars (13.700). Sophomore Broderick Shemansky paced the Hawkeyes on horizontal bar, scoring a 14.200 to finish seventh.

IN THE RANKINGS: Iowa is ranked within the top 10 for the second week, coming in at No. 10. The Hawkeyes also have two individuals ranked. Sophomore Matt McGrath is ranked eighth on floor exercise. Sophomore Anton Gryshayev is ranked 12th on rings.

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). The score is also the seventh best score recorded in the nation this season.

SHEMANSKY LEADING THE WAY: Shemansky has emerged as a strong leader as of late, as the sophomore has led Iowa in three events in the past two meets. Shemansky set the team season-high score on pommel horse with a 14.800 against Nebraska to place second. Shemansky also placed first on parralel bars with a 14.700, a score that was one-tenth away from a school record. Shemansky also owns the team season high score on horizontal bar (14.200) vs. Nebraska and also at Minnesota-Penn State.

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 face Nebraska for the second time this season, this time in Lincoln. Start time is 7 p.m. on March 20th. Nebraska was ranked No. 7 in the latest polls, but Iowa came away with nearly a six-point victory at home against the Cornhuskers earlier in the season.