Hawkeyes Begin Season at Windy City Invitational

Jan. 14, 2014

Weekly Release

The No. 8 ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team opens the 2014 season on the road at the Windy City Invitational. The 44th annual invite, which is hosted by Prairie Gymnastics Club, will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Illinois-Chicago PE Builiding. Big Ten opponents Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio State will join the Hawkeyes at the event.

Iowa ended its 2013 season at the NCAA Championships in University Park, Pa. The Hawkeyes finished third in the second session of the NCAA National Qualifier with a score of 426.550 to earn a spot in the team finals for the first time since 2005. Iowa finished fifth in the nation at the team finals with a score of 426.450, its highest finish since 2000. Three Hawkeyes — seniors Anton Gryshayev and Javier Balboa, and sophomore William Albert — qualified on the still rings. Gryshayev and Balboa went on to earn All-America honors in the event. Balboa also earned All-America status when he placed sixth in the all-around, making him Iowa’s first All-American in multiple events since 2005.

Season tickets are currently on sale for $7 for adults. Fans purchasing season tickets will gain admission to two home meets that include three Big Ten 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 at home on February 7 against conference foe Illinois. The Fighting Illini are currently picked to finish third in the Preseason Big Ten Poll. 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 to purchase tickets.

Redshirt senior Matt McGrath and sophomore Jack Boyle were selected to the Big Ten Preseason Gymnasts Watch List. The Hawkeyes were also picked to finish sixth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches Poll. McGrath, who is one of two seniors included in the Big Ten’s Watch List, returns after using a medical redshirt last season. McGrath, a Wheaton Ill., native, advanced to the event finals of the 2012 Big Ten Championships on vault and took eighth place with a score of 14.900. Boyle, a Naperville, Ill. native, finished his freshman season with a 19th place finish in the high bar at the NCAA Team Finals.

JD Reive is in his fourth season as the 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. Iowa broke the total team score record with a 351.800 on March 24, 2011. Six gymnasts also punched their tickets to compete individually at the NCAA Championships. Reive coached his first Hawkeye — Matt McGrath — to All-America honors in 2011. In 2012, Reive coached three Hawkeyes — Javier Balboa, Broderick Shemansky, Anton Gryshayev — to the individual event semifinals at the NCAA Championships. The 2013 season was the most successful season in nearly a decade. Reive coached three All-Americans — Balboa, Gryshayev, William Albert — and coached the Hawkeyes to a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships — Iowa’s best finish since 2005. Reive, who is the seventh head coach in the program history, came to Iowa City after serving as an assistant coach at Stanford from 2003-10.

Iowa will make two appearances on the Big Ten Network during the 2014 season. The Hawkeyes will make their season debut on BTN when they host Minnesota and Nebraska at noon (CT) on Feb. 15. The event will be held at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Big Ten Championships, slated for March 28-29 in Lincoln, Neb., can also be seen live on the network.

Iowa will host its home opener against fifth-ranked Illinois, the 2012 NCAA Champion, on Feb. 7. The event will take place at Carver Hawkeye Arena at 7:00 p.m.