Feb. 11, 2014
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THIS WEEK: The No. 10 ranked Iowa men’s gymnastics team concludes its home slate against the No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers and the No. 11 Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, Feb. 15 at noon (CT) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The meet will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.
SENIOR DAY: Saturday’s meet will be Senior Day for Iowa’s two seniors, Matt McGrath and Angelo Bronzino. A Wheaton Ill. native, McGrath was named an All-American on vault in 2011 after placing fifth in the event with a score of 15.900 at the NCAA Championships. He advanced to the event finals of the 2012 Big Ten Championships on vault and took eighth place with a score of 14.900. Although he missed the entire 2013 season after taking a medical redshirt, McGrath was one of two seniors named to the Big Ten Preseason Gymnasts to Watch List. The redshirt senior holds the individual school record on floor exercise with a score of 15.500. McGrath, an biomedical engineering major, is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. He has also earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week and the Big Ten Sportsmanship awards. Bronzino, an Aurora, Ill. native, competed in all 10 meets in 2012 and had nine top-five finishes. He scored a personal best 14.900 on rings against Oklahoma and a 14.750 on vault at the 2011 NCAA Qualifier. The economics major also placed 25th at the 2012 NCAA Qualifier on high bar.
CLUB DAY/ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DAY: The meet is Club/Elementary School Day at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. All student organizations and elementary school students in the Iowa City School District are invited to cheer on the Hawkeyes. All youth, 18 and younger, and UI students are admitted free.
LAST TIME OUT: Iowa returned home to Carver-Hawkeye Arena to challenge the No. 5 ranked Illinois Fighting Illini.The Hawkeyes fell 433.350-420.300. Sophomore Jack Boyle took second in the all-around with a score of 82.050, redshirt senior Matt McGrath claimed the floor title with a score of 15.000 and junior Mitchell Landau finished runner-up in the horizontal bar with a score of 15.200.
TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE: Tickets are still available for this weekend’s tri-meet. Adult tickets are $5 and all youth, 18 and younger, and UI students are admitted free. Fans interested in attending Saturday’s meet should visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS to purchase tickets.
GYMNASTS TO WATCH: 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.
HEAD COACH JD Reive: 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.
UP NEXT: Iowa travels to Las Vegas, Nev. to compete at the Winter Cup on Feb. 20-22. On Sunday, Feb. 23, the Hawkeyes compete against the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames at 1 p.m. (CT) in Chicago. The Hawkeyes have already competed against UIC this season at the Windy City Invitational on Jan. 18 in Chicago. The Hawkeyes placed fifth out of six teams with a score of 417.700, and the Flames finished sixth with a score of 395.500.