Iowa Tripped Up By No. 3 California

March 13, 2011

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BERKELEY, California – The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team came up short against third-ranked California on Saturday night, as the Hawkeyes were tripped up 353.350-337.950 in Berkeley.

Of No. 10 Iowa’s three dual losses this season, all of them have come to teams currently ranked in the top eight. California, whose only losses came to No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Oklahoma, took a two point lead after the first rotation and never allowed the Hawkeyes to pull any closer.

Sophomore Matt McGrath continued to provide a steady hand for the Hawkeyes, finishing with two second place finishes. Seniors Ben Ketelsen and Mike Jiang also provided solid routines on pommel horse to earn silver.

McGrath posted a 14.650 on floor exercise to place second, as California’s Daniel Culpepper held a slight advantage. McGrath is ranked No. 8 nationally on the event. Senior John Haines scored a 13.950 to place fifth, and Ketelsen finished with a 13.850 to come in seventh.

Ketelsen and Jiang each posted stellar scores on pommel horse as the classmates tied for second with a 14.900 on the event. The score etched a new team season best, as the previous top score was a 14.800 from sophomore Broderick Shemansky against Nebraska. Sophomore Anton Gryshayev scored a 13.400 (9th).

Sophomore Javier Balboa led Iowa on rings with a 13.750 to place fourth on the event. McGrath tied for fifth (13.600), and Shemansky placed eighth (13.400).

McGrath earned a runner up finish once again, this time on vault with a 16.100. The score provided a team season best on the event. Jiang tallied another strong routine, securing a score of 15.250 to place sixth. Ketelsen scored a 15.200, and sophomore Todd Becker wasn’t far behind with a season best score of 15.100.

Freshman Lance Alberhasky paced Iowa on parallel bars, tying for fourth place with a 14.150. Shemansky (13.750) and Balboa (13.700) also paced Iowa on the event.

Shemansky led Iowa on horizontal bars, placing fifth with a 14.150. Ketelsen earned a sixth place finish as well with a 14.100. Balboa (13.900), Jiang (13.850) and Alberhasky (13.600) also led the way.

The Hawkeyes have just one regular season meet left before traveling to the Big Ten Championships. That meet will be a triangular against No. 7 Nebraska and No. 8 Minnesota in Lincoln on March 19th at 7 p.m. The Hawkeyes have defeated the Cornhuskers previously, but have fallen to the Golden Gophers twice.