No. 10 Iowa Begins Posteason Trek With Big Ten Championships

March 30, 2011

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THIS WEEK: The No. 10 University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team will begin the postseason this weekend with the Big Ten Championships in Champaign, Ill. Action will be April 1 at 7 p.m. and April 2 at 7 p.m. inside Huff Hall. The first day will be team and all-around finals, while the second will be event finals.

ON TV: The Big Ten Network will be televising both days of action live at 7 p.m. (CT).

SCOUTING REPORT: No. 10 Iowa will battle No. 3 Illinois, No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Minnesota and No. 8 Ohio State for the conference crown. There will be 43 nationally ranked gymnasts in competition.

IN THE RANKINGS: Iowa is ranked within the top 10 for the third straight week. The Hawkeyes also have four individuals ranked. Sophomore Matt McGrath is ranked seventh on floor exercise and 14th on vault. Sophomore Anton Gryshayev is ranked 10th on rings. Seniors Mike Jiang and Ben Ketelsen are ranked 11th and 14th on pommel horse, respectively.

LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes capped their regular season with a bang, breaking the school record for highest team score. Iowa scored a 351.800 to finish second in a triangular with Nebraska and Minnesota. The Hawkeyes also broke the school record for highest team score on rings (58.500) and horizontal bar (58.700). McGrath had two first place finishes with a top finish on floor (15.000) and on vault (16.200). He also had a fourth place finish on rings (14.600). Ketelsen finished first on horizontal bar (14.900) and second on pommel horse (14.900). Javier Balboa added a second place finish on horizontal bar (14.800) and Jiang placed third on pommel horse (14.800) as well.

KETELSEN FINISHES STRONG: In his last regular season action, senior Ben Ketelsen capped the season strong. Ketelsen broke one school record and tied another. Ketelsen’s 14.9 on horizontal bar broke Joel Snyder’s 2008 record. Ketelsen’s 14.9 on pommel horse also tied Jacob Becker, Curtis Kleffman and Jiang’s record mark.

ONE-UPPER: Gryshayev has obliterated the school record books on rings, and now holds the top four scores on the event in school history. He scored a 15.200 against Minnesota to beat his record of 15.100, and recently tied the record score of 15.200 in last week’s triangular.

McGRATH OWNS FLOOR RECORD: McGrath’s 15.500 score on floor exercise against Nebraska 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.

A NEW ERA: The Hawkeyes 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: The NCAA Championships will be from April 14th through the 16th in Columbus, Ohio.