McGrath in Hunt for All-American Honors

April 15, 2011

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team competed individually on the first day of the NCAA Championships in St. John Arena, with six gymnasts in action for the No. 11 Hawkeyes. Sophomore Matt McGrath is the lone gymnast alive after qualifying for the individual event finals on Saturday.

With a stellar routine on vault, McGrath will be looking to garner All-American honors Saturday. The top eight gymnasts in each event following tomorrow’s finals action will reach All-American status.

Senior Mike Jiang, senior Ben Ketelsen, sophomore Anton Gryshayev, sophomore Javier Balboa and freshman Samuel Wright also competed for Iowa after advancing past the National Qualifier

“Matt’s vault was great. It was about the same thing as yesterday, and that worked well again” said head coach JD Reive. “With a vault like that, he stands a great chance for All-American if he hits it again.”

McGrath, a Wheaton, Ill. native, earned a score of 16.050 on the event to tie for seventh out of the 51 gymnasts that competed on vault. McGrath advanced to today’s action by scoring a 16.250 on vault to place fourth in Session II of the National Qualifier on Thursday, which was also hosted in Columbus. McGrath’s qualifying score was half a tenth away from the school record.

Fellow sophomore Anton Gryshayev posted a strong score on rings for Iowa as well. Gryshayev scored a 14.850 to place 21st. Gryshayev owns the top five scores on the event in program history, including the school record set this season of 15.200.

Jiang and Ketelsen hit their final routines for Iowa, as the senior leaders climbed onto the pommel horse for the last time in Hawkeye gear. Jiang, a returning All-American on the event, scored a 13.900 to place 24th. Ketelsen’s routine netted a 12.900 and a 42nd place finish.

Despite being in his rookie campaign at Iowa, Wright paced the Hawkeyes with a solid finish on horizontal bar. Wright scored a 14.200 to place 25th.

Balboa competed for Iowa on parallel bars. The transfer student from Monterrey, Mexico netted a 12.300 on the event.

“They all did a good job, but just fell short of reaching the second day,” said Reive. “It was a good experience for them, and I’m proud of that, and proud of our seniors for the careers they had.”

Action will begin Saturday at 6 p.m. (CST) for the individual event finals of the NCAA Championships hosted at Ohio State. Stanford won the title in today’s team competition, and Sam Mikulak of Michigan won the all-around title.


Individual Event Results

POMMEL HORSE 24. Mike Jiang (IOWA), 13.900 42. Ben Ketelsen (IOWA), 12.900

STILL RINGS 21. Anton Gryshayev (IOWA), 14.850

VAULT 7. Matt McGrath (IOWA), 16.050

PARALLEL BARS 48. Javier Balboa (IOWA), 12.300

HORIZONTAL BAR 25. Samuel Wright (IOWA), 14.200