Hawkeyes Host Sooners

Jan. 30, 2013

Weekly Release

The eighth-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team will host its home opener Saturday against No. 4 Oklahoma, the 2012 NCAA runner-up. The event is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes traveled to Fort Worth, Texas for the Metroplex Challenge. Iowa finished fourth with a score of 422.750. No. 4 Oklahoma finished first with a 441.500, followed by No. 5 Ohio State in second (429.400) and No. 6 Illinois placing third (428.300). Texas A&M’s club team placed fifth and a team of Texas collegiate all-stars placed sixth.

Senior Anton Gryshayev set the pace for the Hawkeyes at the Metroplex Challege. Gryshayev won the still rings, scoring a school record 15.800. The score was the highest of any in the inaugural Metroplex Challenge. Gryshayev owns the top five scores on rings in program history. His score contributed to Iowa’s third place finish on rings (74.550), which was the Hawkeyes’ best event of the meet.

Season tickets are currently on sale for $15 for adults. Fans purchasing season tickets will gain admission to four home meets, including two against league foes. The season ticket package includes premium seating options and one Iowa men’s gymnastics t-shirt. All youth, 18 and younger, and UI students are admitted free to all home matches. Iowa opens against 2012 national runner-up Oklahoma at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 2. 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.

The Hawkeyes are currently ranked eighth by GymInfo. All seven Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10. Penn State leads the way at No. 1, followed by Michigan (No. 3). Ohio State sits at fifth, while Illinois (No. 6), Minnesota (No. 7) and Nebraska (No. 9) join the Hawkeyes in the top 10.

Iowa has four gymnasts ranked in the top ten nationally for individual events. Freshman Matt Loochtan is ranked third on floor exercise with an average of 15.400. Loochtan also is ranked ninth in the all-around (82.250). Senior Javier Balboa also sits at No. 3 on parallel bars, averaging 15.200. Senior Anton Gryshayev averages 15.150 on still rings, earning the No. 6 rating. As a team, the Hawkeyes are ranked fifth in both still rings (71.900) and parallel bars (71.150).

JD Reive is in his third season as head coach of the University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team. In his first season at the helm of the Iowa program, the Hawkeyes broke four team records and five individual records under Reive’s guidance. Iowa broke the total team score record with a 351.800 on March 24, 2011. Six gymnasts punched their tickets to compete individually at the NCAA Championships in Reive’s first season. Reive coached his first Hawkeye to All-America honors with Matt McGrath in 2011. In 2012, he coached three Hawkeyes (Javier Balboa, Broderick Shemansky, Anton Gryshayev) to the individual event semifinals at the NCAA Championships. Reive, who is the seventh head coach in the program history, came to Iowa City after serving as an assistant coach at men’s gymnastics powerhouse Stanford from 2003-10.

Select Iowa gymnasts will travel to Las Vegas to compete in the Winter Cup Challenge on Feb. 7 and 9. The rest of the Hawkeyes will host Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 8, with action beginning at 1:00 p.m.