Hawkeyes Take on No. 6 Minnesota

March 4, 2014

Minnesota Meet Release

THIS WEEK: The No. 9 ranked Iowa men’s gymnastics team travels to Minneapolis to face the No. 6 Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday, March 8 at 7 p.m. (CT) at the Sports Pavilion. Fans can follow live results at . On Feb. 15, Iowa hosted a tri-meet against the Gophers and Nebraska. Minnesota won the meet with a score of 437.400, the Hawkeyes placed second with a score of 433.050 and the Huskers finished third with a score of 418.150.

#InsideIowaMGym: Hawkeye men’s gymnastics fans will have the opportunity to access behind-the-scenes, exclusive video content during Iowa’s competition on Saturday, March 8 at Minnesota. A Go Pro camera will allow fans to live vicariously through Hawkeye gymnasts as they warm up, prepare for competition and perform for the judges in a Big Ten Conference showdown. Follow @mensgymiowa to be a part of the experience and interact with us throughout the event. Don’t forget to use the official hashtag, #InsideIowaMGym.

QUOTING COACH REIVE: “I am really looking forward to the follow-up from last weekend. We have been working on maintaining the consistency that we need and hitting sets that we missed from last weekend. If we do both of those things, we will be in good shape.”

HAWKEYES DOWN OHIO STATE: Last weekend at the Arnold Classic, Iowa finished runner-up with a score of 431.600. No. 2 Michigan won the meet with a score of 437.500 and No. 3 Ohio State placed third with a score of 429.500. It was also the first meet with the new `5-up, 5-count’ scoring system. The victory over Ohio State marked Iowa’s first win over a team ranked in the top five this season. It was also the first win over the Buckeyes since the NCAA Championship Qualifier in 2006 when Iowa placed third with a score of 212.425 and Ohio State finished fourth with a score of 211.700.

RECORD-BREAKING RINGS: The Hawkeyes set a new team record on rings by recording a 75.350 at the Arnold Classic last weekend. Redshirt senior Matt McGrath proved his All-American status, winning the event with a 15.450. Sophomore Matt Loochtan finished runner-up as he recorded a 15.300, and freshman Andrew Botto tied for sixth with a 15.000. Redshirt junior Lance Alberhasky placed eighth with a 14.900 and sophomore Jack Boyle finished ninth with a 14.700.

WINTER CUP OVERVIEW: The Hawkeyes had three representatives — redshirt senior Matt McGrath, sophomore Matt Loochtan, and freshman Andrew Botto — compete in the second session of the Winter Cup Feb. 20. Of the three gymnasts, McGrath was the only one to advance to the finals on Feb. 22. In the finals, McGrath tallied a score of 41.700, which helped him earn an overall score of 83.050 and place 31st in a field of 42. McGrath’s final event scores included: 13.500 on floor, 13.300 on rings, and 14.900 on vault.

MCGRATH MAKES THE FINALS: Redshirt senior Matt McGrath represented the Iowa men’s gymnastics team in the finals of the Winter Cup on Feb. 22. In the first session on Feb. 20, McGrath placed 63rd with an overall score of 41.350 and tied for 10th on vault with a 14.900. His other scores included: 13.600 on vault and 12.850 on rings. In the final session of the meet, McGrath tallied a finals score of 41.700. He finished 31st in the meet with a score of 83.050 on the weekend.

MCGRATH NOMINATED: Matt McGrath has been nominated for the Nissen-Emery Award. Considered the `Heisman Trophy’ of college gymnastics, the award is the highest honor in college gymnastics and is awarded each year to the best senior collegiate gymnast. gymnasts are not only judged on their athletic achievements, but for their sportsmanship and performance in the classroom.

IOWA POSTS FIRST WIN: On Feb. 23, the Hawkeyes earned their first dual meet win of the season, defeating the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames 431.400 to 409.900 in Chicago. Sophomore Jack Boyle took first out of four all-around competitors with a season-high 86.800. The score ties former Iowa standout Javier Balboa’s all-around record of 86.800 set in 2013.

GETTING BACK ON THE HORSE: Throughout the course of the season, 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 against Minnesota and Nebraska on Feb. 15. Sophomore Doug Sullivan set an individual school record of 15.250 and won the event. Sophomore Emmanuel Monroy took third with a 14.700 and sophomore Del Vecchio Orozco finished fifth with a 14.350. Freshman Cory Paterson scored a 13.800, while junior Mitchell Landau and freshman David Spanier each scored a 13.600.

ALL-AROUND SUCCESS: As the Hawkeyes’ most consistent competitor in the all-around, sophomore Jack Boyle has steadily improved his score this season. Despite recording a season-low 82.050 against Illinois on Feb. 7, he bounced back against Minnesota and Nebraska, raising his score to 85.600. Boyle continued to improve in the event at UIC on Feb. 23 when he scored a season-high 86.800, tying former Hawkeye standout Javier Balboa’s all-around record set in 2013.

NATIONALLY RANKED: The Iowa men’s gymnastics team is currently ranked ninth in this week’s poll. Iowa has been previously ranked eighth, 10th, and ninth so far this season. The Big Ten Conference has seven nationally ranked teams including: No. 3 Michigan, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Penn State, No. 6 Minnesota, No. 7 Illinois, No. 9 Iowa and No. 12 Nebraska.

BREAKING RECORDS: Against Minnesota and Nebraska on Feb. 15, 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 in the event. The Hawkeyes also set a school record with a 433.050 overall team score. In competition Feb. 23 at UIC, sophomore Jack Boyle tied Javier Balboa’s all-around record, with an 86.600 effort. At the Arnold Classic last weekend, the Hawkeyes set another team record as they recorded a 75.350 on rings.

GYMNASTS TO WATCH: Redshirt senior Matt McGrath and sophomore Jack Boyle were selected to the Big Ten Preseason Gymnasts Watch List. 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 Lincoln, Neb. to compete against Nebraska on March 15. On Feb. 15, Iowa hosted a tri-meet against the Huskers and Minnesota.