Feb. 18, 2014
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THIS WEEK: The No. 8 ranked Iowa men’s gymnastics team travels to Las Vegas, Nev., to compete at the Winter Cup Feb. 20-22. To follow live results and view final score, visit the event’s website at usagym.org. The Hawkeyes will end the weekend against the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. (CT) in Chicago. Fans can follow the meet with live results at uicflames.com.
OPPONENT RUNDOWN: Some of the nations best gymnasts will be competing at the 2014 Winter Cup. The list of competitors includes former Oklahoma standouts Jake Dalton and Steven Legendre, U.S. Olympic Center trainees John Orozco and Brandon Wynn, Michigan gymnast Stacey Ervin, and Stanford gymnasts Akash Modi and Eddie Penev.
VS. UIC: The Hawkeyes last competed against the Flames at the Windy City Invitational on Jan. 18 as Iowa placed fifth out of six teams and recorded a team score of 417.700. UIC finished last with a score of 395.500.
LAST TIME OUT: The Hawkeyes concluded their home schedule Saturday, hosting a tri-meet against No. 6 Minnesota and No. 11 Nebraska. The Gophers won the meet with a score of 437.400, Iowa placed second with a score of 433.050, and the Huskers finished third with a score of 418.150. As the lone competitor in the all-around, sophomore Jack Boyle posted a season-high score of 85.600. Iowa dominated on the vault, as redshirt senior Matt McGrath won the event with a score of 15.100, junior Brandon Field took second place (14.950), and sophomore Matt Loochtan finished third (14.800). Sophomore Doug Sullivan grabbed the top spot on pommel horse with a score of 15.250 and junior Mitchell Landau won on horizontal bar with a score of 15.150. Loochtan also finished third on floor with a score of 15.150.
SEASON HIGHS: Floor Exercise — Matt McGrath: 15.200 vs. Illinois Pommel Horse — Doug Sullivan: 15.250 vs. Minnesota/Nebraska (school record) Rings — Jack Boyle: 15.000 vs. Illinois Vault — Matt McGrath: 15.100 vs. Minnesota/Nebraska, @ Oklahoma Parallel Bars — Mitchell Landau: 14.900 @ Oklahoma Horizontal Bar — Mitchell Landau: 15.200 vs. Illinois, @ Oklahoma All-Around — Jack Boyle: 85.600 vs. Minnesota/Nebraska Overall Team Score — 433.050 vs. Minnesota/Nebraska (school record)
POMMEL HORSE: Throughout the course of the season, the pommel horse seemed to be the one event that Iowa struggled in. However, the Hawkeyes overcame that fault in a big way recording a season-high 71.700 on the event last Saturday. Sophomore Doug Sullivan set an individual school record of 15.250 in the event.
ALL AROUND SUCCESS: As they Hawkeyes most consistent competitor in the all-around, sophomore Jack Boyle has steadily improved his score at each meet. Despite recording a season-low 82.050 against Illinois, he bounced back last weekend against Minnesota and Nebraska with a season high 85.600.
NATIONALLY RANKED: The Iowa men’s gymnastics team is currently ranked No. 8 in this weeks polls. The Big Ten Conference has seven nationally ranked teams including: No. 2 Michigan, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Minnesota, No. 6 Illinois, No. 7 Penn State, No. 8 Iowa, and No. 11 Nebraska.
BREAKING RECORDS: Last weekend, three Iowa men’s gymnastics school records were broken. Sophomore Doug Sullivan set a new mark on the pommel horse by recording a score of 15.250. The previous record of 14.900, held by Mike Jiang, Ben Ketelsen, Curtis Kleffman, and Jacob Becker, was established in 2011. On vault, a new team record was set as Iowa posted 74.150 on the event. The Hawkeyes also set a school record with a 433.050 overall team score.
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.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS: The 2014 Big Ten Championships will be in Lincoln, Neb., March 28-29. The two-day event will be shown live on the Big Ten Network on Friday at 7 p.m. (CT) and Saturday at 5 p.m. (CT).
UP NEXT: The Hawkeyes travel to Columbus, Ohio., to compete at the 14th annual Arnold Classic on Saturday, March 1. Iowa will go up against conference foes No. 4 Ohio State, No. 2 Michigan, and No. 11 Nebraska, along with Arizona State in the all-day event.