March 8, 2014
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MINNEAPOLIS — The ninth-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team were neck-in-neck with the sixth-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers heading into the final event Saturday night in the Sports Pavilion. In the end, the Hawkeyes could not pull off the victory, as they finished with a 426.450 final score. Minnesota narrowly won the meet with a 427.350 mark.
Sophomore Matt Loochtan and redshirt senior Matt McGrath each set new individual event records in the action. Loochtan broke a record with a 15.60 effort on floor, which was previously set by McGrath in 2011 (15.500).
McGrath set a new record on vault with a 15.350. The previous record of 16.3000 was set by Geoff Reins in 2008. An adjustment to the rules in vault competition would take one point off Reins record, allowing McGrath to best it with tonight’s effort.
“Overall, the meet went quite well,” head coach JD Reive said. “We still had some misses that we should not have. I was quite pleased with the consistency, hit ratios and most of what we needed to do. I am disappointed that we lost the meet because we had an opportunity to take it, especially on the last event. We should not be falling down on vault.”
“But we had huge performances. Matt Loochtan, on floor, did fantastic. Matt McGrath, on rings and had a great finish to the meet on vault. There were a lot of really good highlights from this. We obviously still need to focus on a few things. I am pleased, but obvious disappointed in the ending result.”
Iowa gained an early lead on pommel horse, recording a 66.900 team score. Sophomore Emmanuel Monroy led the Hawkeyes with a 13.850. Sophomores Doug Sullivan and Del Vecchio Orozco followed with 13.800 and 13.650 scores, respectively.
McGrath put together another impressive routine on rings, tallying a team-high 15.300. Freshman Andrew Botto also had an exciting routine as he recorded a 14.800. He was followed closely by sophomore Jack Boyle, who scored a 14.700.
Loochtan led the way for the Hawkeyes on floor with his school record 15.650 effort. McGrath (14.900) and redshirt junior Lance Alberhasky (14.450) rounded out scoring in the event.
Iowa continued on to parallel bars trailing just behind Minnesota. Boyle scored a team-high 14.450 on the event. Redshirt sophomore Cyrus Dobre-Mofid followed with a 14.100m, and junior Mitchell Landau tallied a 14.000.
On high bar, Dobre-Mofid led the way recording a score of 14.600. Landau tallied a 14.500, followed by Alberhasky and Boyle, who both scored a 14.150.
The outcome of the meet came down to the final event, the Hawkeyes on vault and Minnesota on high bar. McGrath came through with a crucial vault of 15.350, sticking his landing as Iowa’s final competitor in the event. Dobre-Mofid’s added a 14.700 score on vault, while junior William Albert posted a 14.450.
The Hawkeyes travel to Lincoln, Neb., next to compete against Nebraska on March 15 at 4 p.m. (CT).