Hawkeyes Eager to Perform

Jan. 21, 2013

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 — The 2013 University of Iowa men’s gymnastics season is upon us, and the Hawkeyes could not be more excited to get started.

Iowa opened the season last Saturday at the 43rd annual Windy City Invitational in Chicago. The Hawkeyes finished fifth in the event — the oldest and largest regular-season event in the nation. A number of standout performances highlighted the night. Three Hawkeyes won event titles.

Freshman Matt Loochtan scored a 15.400 on the floor exercise. It marked the highest individual score on any event during the meet. Senior Anton Gryshayev scored a 15.150 on rings and fellow classmate Javier Balboa posted a score of 15.200 on parallel bars. Loochtan, an Illinois native, placed fifth in the all-around (82.300) in his collegiate debut.

The squad has been training for months, and has been eager to open true competition.

“One of the craziest things about our sport, it is year-round,” said UI head coach JD Reive. “They are training for months on end without competition. So, it is all for this. We are all incredibly anxious to get going.”

As a sport that opens competition during the second semester, long hours are put in through the summer and fall months in preparation for the winter and spring competition season.

“It has been week-after-week, even during winter break, long hours,” said Reive, now in his third year at the helm of the program. “We are ready to go.”

For the Hawkeyes, now is the time to show off what they have been working on for months.

“We now get to unveil everything we have been doing,” said Reive. “The guys and staff are really excited about getting started. We have made a lot of improvement since last year.

“We now get to unveil everything we have been doing. The guys and staff are really excited about getting started. We have made a lot of improvement since last year.”
— UI head coach JD Reive

“This is the opportunity for them; this is how we showcase all the work we have done.”

The challenge for Iowa heading into the first few competitions is generating a high energy level, once found in the fall, after finals and winter break.

“That is exactly the challenge right there,” said Reive. “We had our Black and Gold Intrasquad, then we had finals two weeks later, and then it was winter break. The challenge is keeping the energy up through that period.

“We have done a really good job this year. We brought them back on Jan. 2, and we have been grinding away. We have been trying to get them ready, both mentally and physically. Physically, they are there. It is getting the brain and the emotions and everything on track to actually go out and compete. We have accomplished that better than at any point since I have been here, which is why we are excited to get going.”

The Hawkeyes return to action Friday at the Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas.

Fans interested in attending home meets at Carver-Hawkeye Arena should visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS for season tickets.