March 17, 2014
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa redshirt senior men’s gymnast Matt McGrath was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week after helping the Hawkeyes defeat four nationally-ranked opponents — No. 5 Minnesota, No. 6 Illinois, No. 8 Air Force and No. 12 Nebraska — Saturday, March 15 in Lincoln, Neb.
This is McGrath’s second Big Ten weekly award, as he was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Feb. 8, 2010. It is Iowa’s first men’s gymnastics weekly honor of the 2014 season.
The Hawkeyes won the meet and set a new school record with a team score of 437.250. McGrath earned two event titles — floor exercise and vault — and finished runner-up on still rings.
His floor score of 15.600 ties the Iowa school record, which was set last weekend by teammate Matt Loochtan. With the meet on the line in the final event, McGrath won the vault with a score of 15.300. He also added points for the Hawkeyes with a 15.350 effort on rings.
The Wheaton, Ill., native was named a Big Ten Gymnast to Watch at the beginning of the season, and was nominated for the prestigious Nissan-Emery Award, which is the highest honor in college gymnastics. The award is given to the best senior collegiate gymnast. Nominees are evaluated on athletic and academic acheivements.
Iowa men’s gymnastics will return to Lincoln, Neb., on March 28-29 to compete in the Big Ten Championships. All the action will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.