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The No. 7-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team is traveling to State College, Pennsylvania, to compete for a Big Ten Championship. The meet, hosted by Penn State, begins at 6 p.m. (CT) and will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.
Fans can follow the meet online through live stats. A live stream of the meet is also available. Links to both are located on the Iowa men’s gymnastics schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
A LOOK BACK TO 2014 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS:
? The Hawkeyes placed seventh at last year’s Big Ten Championship with a team score of 425.600.
? Iowa had four gymnasts compete in the individual finals. Former Hawkeyes Matt McGrath (15.100) and Mitchell Landau (15.025) finished fourth on floor exercise and high bar, respectively, marking the team’s highest individual finishes of the meet. Doug Sullivan (14.575) placed fifth on pommel horse, while Matt Loochtan (14.950) and McGrath (15.175) finished ninth and fifth, respectively.
? Michigan won the meet with a 448.200 for their second straight Big Ten title followed by Ohio State (441.050), Penn State (438.000), Illinois (435.350), Minnesota (429.150), Nebraska (428.150) and Iowa (425.600).
? Sophomore Mark Springett won the Sportsmanship Award for Iowa.
HISTORICALLY AT THE BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP:
? The Hawkeyes have won the Big Ten Championships seven times (1937, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1986, 1998).
? Since 1990, the Hawkeyes have placed runner-up six times (1990, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999), third place three times (1991, 2003, 2006), fourth place three times (1992, 2000, 2004), fifth place once (2005), sixth place nine times (2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) and seventh place twice (1993, 2014).
? Iowa is looking for its best finish since 2006 when the team placed third (213.750) behind Ohio State and Illinois.
? Iowa’s last Big Ten Champion and All-Big Ten selection was Javier Balboa in 2013 on rings.
SCOUTING THE FIELD:
? Penn State comes into the postseason as the highest ranked Big Ten School (435.863 average), and holds the top spot in the country on parallel bars (74.483 average). The Nittany Lions defeated Iowa in both their meetings this season.
? Two-time defending Big Ten Champion Michigan enters the postseason following their best performance of the season against UIC. The team posted a season high 443.050 and is first in the country on vault, (73.931 average). Iowa and Michigan have not competed against each other this season.
? The Illinois Fighting Illini are coming off a loss to Michigan in their season finale. The Illini average a team score 432.805 on the season. Iowa fell to Illinois in Champaign in their only meeting of the season.
? Minnesota ranks one spot ahead of Iowa in the latest national poll according to roadtonationals.com (March 23). Iowa has faced off against Minnesota three times this season, most of any team, winning once and losing twice. Minnesota has the current Big Ten Champion on pommel horse in Ellis Mannon.
? Ohio State is coming off a loss to Oklahoma in its season finale. The Buckeyes average a 427.807 in their meets in 2015. Ohio State has three Big Ten indivdual titles from 2014 (vault, parallel bars, and high bar). Iowa defeated Ohio State on February 1.
? Nebraska ranks 11th in the latest national poll, averaging a 421.679. The Hawkeyes defeated the Cornhuskers twice this season including the team’s season finale with Minnesota and Penn State.
LAST TIME OUT:
The Hawkeyes ended their regular season in Lincoln, Nebraska, on March 15 against Penn State, Nebraska and Minnesota. The Golden Gophers (434.000) won the quad meet followed by Penn State (432.100), Iowa (429.250) and Nebraska (426.050). Iowa posted a season best score on high bar (73.050), highlighted by sophomore Andrew Botto’s 15.100, which tied for first on the event. The Hawkeyes also set another season best on floor exercise (73.550) led by junior Matt Loochtan (14.950) and junior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid, who finished sixth and seventh, respectively.
SIX HAWKEYES SET CAREER HIGHS ON VALENTINES DAY:
At a February 14 meet in Iowa City, the Hawkeyes set six career-highs and came from behind to defeat Minnesota and Nebraska on Senior Night. Iowa set a season high on parallel bars with a 72.800. Cory Paterson (14.400), Matt Loochtan (14.800) and Dylan Ellsworth (14.500) all set career highs on the event. Paterson also set a career high on high bar with a 14.900.
BOYLE NAMED GYMNAST OF THE WEEK:
Junior Jack Boyle was named Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Week following Iowa’s win over UIC on Jan. 24. Boyle contributed two event titles — rings (15.400) and floor (14.750) and finished second on parallel bars (14.400). It is Boyle’s first weekly honor of his career and the first for the Hawkeyes since Matt McGrath earned the award on March 17, 2014.
LOOCHTAN COMPETES IN WINTER CUP FINALS:
The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team sent Loochtan to represent the Hawkeyes at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Feb. 20-22. Loochtan qualified for finals following a 15.010 on vault, finishing fourth overall. In finals, he scored a 14.900 clinching fourth overall on vault with a combined score of 30.010. Loochtan’s other events included a 14.600 on floor, claiming eighth place, 13.650 on rings, and 13.250 on parallel bars.
IOWA SETS SEASON HIGH TEAM SCORE:
In a Feb. 27 meet at Penn State the Hawkeyes set a new season high team score with a 435.750. Despite the performance, Iowa fell to Penn State. The team set a new high score on high bar (71.850) and Boyle was first on the event, scoring a season high 14.900. Junior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid finished first on parallel bars and set a career-high with a 15.150.
Junior Doug Sullivan ended the regular season in 10th place in the country on pommel horse. Sullivan posted a top three scores of 14.917 with event titles at the Windy City Invitational (14.900), against UIC (14.950), and at Illinois (14.850).
3 FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTE:
Iowa has had three freshmen come in and contribute immediately. Ellsworth, Austin Hodges and Elijah Parsells were all regulars in the lineup. Ellsworth competed on rings, vault and parallel bars. He posted a season high 14.800 on vault, third best on the team, while Hodges and Parsells saw their best scores on pommel horse. Parsells, a specialist on the event, scored a season high 14.750 for second best on the team behind Sullivan and Hodges’s 14.450 was fourth best.
HEAD COACH JD Reive:
Entering his fifth year as head coach of the Hawkeyes, Reive has high expectations for his team. For the first time in his career Reive has a team comprised of gymnasts he personally recruited. He is looking to take the program another step forward. In 2014, the gymnasts set seven school records and seven went on to compete individually at the NCAA Championships. The team finished seventh in the Big Ten and missed the team finals at the NCAA Championships in April. Reive led the Hawkeyes to a fifth place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2013, their best finish in a decade. Reive graduated from Nebraska in 2000 with a bachelor of journalism degree and was an assistant at Stanford from 2003-10 where he helped the team grab four top three finishes.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES:
Web Address: hawkeyesports.com (see the men’s gymnastics schedule page for links to live stats)
TV: Big Ten Network
Live Stats: http://www.gopsusports.com/livestats/m-gym/20150327.htm (Day 1)