Jan. 24, 2015
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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
BY JACK ROSSI
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Since joining the University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team, sophomore Cory Paterson is slowly becoming the team’s most dependable gymnast.
Peterson’s freshman year in Iowa City was spent learning. On Jan. 17, he opened his second season as a Hawkeye by winning the high bar at the Windy City Invitational with a score of 15.100.
It’s a feat that has head coach JD Reive believing Paterson can become an all-around gymnast in the near future.
“His high bar set was easy for him to do,” said Reive. “It was simple, there was no stress, and he ended up winning the event.”
Paterson began his summer competing internationally at the Canadian National Championships. He took fifth on the all-around and won the high bar event with a score of 13.850. Add that to a fall semester of training, and Paterson was prepared for almost anything heading into winter break.
“Cory got really sick with the flu prior to break, so he came back in terrible shape,” Reive said. “We quickly got him ready to go for the season, and he nailed high bar. Now we need him to contribute on other events.”
Still working his way back, Paterson competed only on high bar in Chicago. He will likely pick up a couple more events Saturday when the Hawkeyes host UIC.
“It’s good to see the hard work paying off,” Paterson said. “I’m still coming back, but I think I would like to pick up floor and parallel bar to start. Eventually, I would like to make my way to train for the all-around.”
“Hopefully we can put him in a spot to make the final lineup and get him in a few other events,” said Reive. “His high bar set is a watered down routine, so we can do something a little harder and get him to where he is top three in the event.”
Paterson’s presence in the lineup gives the team more depth and puts more pressure on other gymnasts to give it their best. Looking ahead, Reive sees Paterson as a possible face for the program in the future.
“This is an important year,” Reive said. “He has got a lot of gymnastics in him. Getting him to the point where he matures enough to compete for us on multiple events is what we need to happen this year. If all of this comes together then he will be in a great position for his final two years.”
Following the graduation of team captain Matt McGrath last season, Paterson wants to bring that same leadership skill set to the team.
“I want to be somebody that the team can count on,” he said. “I want to be somebody that they can come to and help push others to achieve all that they can.”
Once Paterson returns to full form, his ceiling is limitless.
“If he isn’t one of the top Canadian gymnasts when he leaves here, then we will make him one.” Reive said.
Tonight’s meet against UIC will begin at 7 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.