Jan. 28, 2012
CHICAGO – The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team earned its first victory of the 2012 season with a triumph over Illinois-Chicago in the UIC Physical Education Building Saturday night. The No. 14 Hawkeyes topped the Flames 332.100-325.200.
The Hawkeyes’ team score was a season best by nearly six full points. Iowa had five individual first place finishes and outscored No. 12 Illinois-Chicago on four of six events. Junior Javier Balboa topped the field in all-around, scoring a season-high 84.800.
“We were much more consistent and had a lot of energy. Everybody showed up for us today,” said head coach JD Reive. “Overall, this was much more indicative of what we can do as a team, even without an injured Matt McGrath.”
Balboa placed within the top-four on all six events and broke his own school record on parallel bars with a 15.000. The previous mark was 14.850 set by Balboa last season. The Monterrey, Mexico, native placed first on parallel bars, second on pommel horse (13.900) and tied for second on vault (14.600). He also placed fourth on floor exercise (13.600) and tied for fourth on high bar (13.700).
“We got a big meet from Balboa, and there is still a lot he can add to that score,” said Reive. “We had to give him a hard time because if he could have corrected a few things, he probably would have broken the all-around record even despite the rule changes on vault.”
Junior Anton Gryshayev had two first place finishes for the Hawkeyes, topping the field on pommel horse and rings. Gryshayev set a new individual team best with a 14.200 on pommel horse and scored a 14.100 on rings.
Junior Broderick Shemansky added a first place finish on high bar, scoring a 14.200.
The Hawkeyes started the meet on pommel horse, where Gryshayev and Balboa’s scores fueled the team. Freshman Mitchell Landau (13.3 00) and senior Adam Wilson (13.200) came in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Freshman Brandon Field placed second on vault to lead the Hawkeyes on the event. Field scored a 14.600. Balboa, Clarke (14.300) and Landau (14.200) also paced Iowa on vault.
Iowa had three of the top four score on rings from Gryshayev, sophomore Angelo Bronzino (14.000) and Balboa. Shemansky added a 13.800 on the event.
Iowa had the top five scores on high bar thanks to the efforts of Shemansky, Wright (14.000), Bronzino (13.800), Landau (13.700) and Balboa.
The Hawkeyes finished the meet on parallel bars with Balboa’s record-breaking routine. Landau (13.200), sophomore Jack McClay (12.900) and Shemansky (12.600) also paced Iowa on the event.
Iowa will have two weeks off before returning to action on Feb. 11 as the Hawkeyes do battle with Minnesota and Nebraska in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The meet will be televised live on Big Ten Network. Start time is set for 7 p.m. (CT).