Boyle, McGrath Tabbed Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch

Dec. 13, 2013

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A pair of University of Iowa men’s gymnasts, sophomore Jack Boyle and senior Matt McGrath, were selected to the Big Ten Preseason Watch List, and the Hawkeyes were picked to finish sixth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches’ Poll, as announced by the conference office.

Boyle, who competed in all 11 meets for the Hawkeyes in 2013, placed 10th in the all-around with a score of 81.500 and 19th in floor exercise (14.500) and rings (14.350) at the Big Ten Championships. The Naperville, Ill., native capped his freshman season with a 19th-place finish in the high bar at the NCAA Team Finals.

McGrath, who is one of two seniors included in the Big Ten’s Watch List, returns to competition after missing last season with a medical redshirt. In 2012, McGrath advanced to the event finals of the Big Ten Championships on vault and earned an eighth place finish with a score of 14.900. He also scored a 15.100 in team competition of the Big Ten Championships to advance to the finals, and placed 20th on parallel bars and 23rd on floor exercise at the NCAA Qualifier.

In 2011, McGrath earned All-America honors after placing fifth on vault at the NCAA Championships, advancing to the NCAA Championship finals, placing fourth in Session II of the NCAA Qualifier, and setting a school record on floor exercise.

The Wheaton, Ill., native placed third at the NCAA Qualifier on vault to qualify for the NCAA Championships and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Feb. 8. McGrath also finished 45th on vault at the NCAA Championships during his freshman campaign.

Iowa was chosen to finish sixth in the Big Ten by the Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Defending national champion Michigan was an unanimous choice for the top spot, followed by Ohio State, Illinois, Penn State, and Minnesota. Nebraska rounded out the poll, following the Hawkeyes, with a seventh-place ranking.

The Hawkeyes open their 2014 regular season with a trip to the Windy City Invitational in Chicago, Ill. on Jan. 18. The competition is slated to begin at 7 p.m. (CT).