Feb. 11, 2012
Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide.
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa men’s gymnastics coach JD Reive is hoping a little home cooking can help his student-athletes show their full potential this weekend.
Reive and the Hawkeyes host Minnesota and Nebraska tonight at 7 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa has been somewhat inconsistent to start the season and Reive is hoping a chance to shine in front of a home crowd can help.
“Some of the guys are still trying to get the competition anxiety out and figuring out how to get consistent work in,” Reive said. “They need to get out there and show off on the weekends.”
Reive doesn’t want his gymnasts to just go through the motions. He wants all the eyes in the arena focused on his student-athletes.
“We are back in Carver and this is our house,” Reive said. “It’s a phenomenal venue and our guys just need to go out and have some fun. They can’t just go through the routines. They need to start showing off. Once they get that attitude and they start drawing attention, it becomes more fun and there is less pressure.”
“We are back in Carver and this is our house. It’s a phenomenal venue and our guys just need to go out and have some fun. They can’t just go through the routines. They need to start showing off. Once they get that attitude and they start drawing attention, it becomes more fun and there is less pressure.”
UI head coach JD Reive
One gymnast who has been “showing off” early in the season is junior Javier Balboa. He is coming off a first place finish on parallel bars and the all-around against Illinois-Chicago. His 15.000 on parallel bars broke the school record, and he was just 1.65 points shy of owning the all-around school record.
“Javier has to mature into the next level of gymnastics,” Reive said. “He’s starting to do that more and more, and we are seeing it on the weekends. That attitude gets developed during the week in practice. The goal for him is to be an All-American in the all-around. That’s a tough goal, but it’s realistic for him.”
Freshman Mitchell Landau has also started the season on a high note. He recorded a fourth place finish on high bar and fifth place finishes on pommel horse and parallel bars against Illinois-Chicago. Reive has been happy with his newcomer’s attitude in the gym.
“Landau has been a good freshman for us this season,” Reive said. “He has been putting up counting scores in every event that he does. That has been good to see.”
Iowa’s returning All-American, Matt McGrath, may also see extended action tonight. McGrath has missed two of Iowa’s three competitions with an injury, but Reive is hoping to have him back in the lineup.
“We are going to try and bring back McGrath this weekend, which is really big for us,” Reive said. “He’s going to bring a lot back to the lineup.”
The Big Ten Network will televise tonight’s meet live in high definition, giving Reive’s gymnasts another avenue to showcase their skills.
“I have people from all over the country saying they have seen us on the Big Ten Network,” Reive said. “That’s huge for us and for the sport in general. To have collegiate men’s gymnastics televised live and in high definition is great for our sport.
“It shows club kids across the country that Big Ten gymnastics is real, and it’s a big event. It’s a big deal, and it’s a goal they can strive for.”