August 11, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Two University of Iowa men’s gymnasts are heading to Indianapolis this week for the 2015 P&G Championships.
Senior Jack Boyle and junior Andrew Botto both qualified for the prestigious event at the U.S Qualifiers last month in Colorado Springs. It will be Boyle’s second time going and Botto’s first as gymnasts at Iowa.
“This meet is all about showcasing our training,” Boyle said. “I didn’t change my routines necessarily, but I have been trying tougher stuff this summer, so it’s more of a prep for this season. If I can get these skills down then I’ll be good to go in the winter.”
The Hawkeyes met stiff competition at the US Qualifiers. A small group of only 15 gymnasts were selected in a field comprised of many national team members and All-Americans.
“It was a super competitive field this year,” head coach JD Reive said. “There are a number of kids who are on the national team who didn’t qualify. It was one of the most competitive qualifiers we have had in recent memory. The fact we had two guys qualify is a great accomplishment.”
But it may have been a different story had the team not opened up their new practice facility. Utilizing the new gym has given the team more options during training and sped up development even faster than Reive had anticipated.
“Andrew (Botto) competed a new vault for the first time ever that he picked up in the new facility,” Reive said. “He landed it and that was what got him to qualify. It was the tie breaker between him and five other guys. He gets to go to Indianapolis now and it’s all based on this new facility. It’s an instant benefit of being in this gym for a short time.”
With the event starting on Thursday, the gymnasts along with Reive and assistant coach Minyoung Kwon, will be leaving Iowa City on Wednesday. It will be Kwon’s first trip to P&G Championships as a coach at Iowa.
“It’s exciting,” Kwon said. “It’s my first time going to the P&G Championships. I’m excited to go and learn and gain more gymnastics experience.”
As for the rest of the team in Iowa City, they will be following along and rooting for their fellow teammates.
“They normally do a live broadcast on their website and these guys go nuts over it,” assistant coach Ben Ketelsen said. “They always follow all the scores and instant replays. We will definitely be watching from here.”
In addition, 2015 marks the final year before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. There will be no U.S Qualifier in 2016, so all gymnasts looking to compete in the national championships have to go through this year’s events, making competition tougher than usual.
“Our country is getting better and better at gymnastics,” Reive said. “The meet this week is the first step toward the Olympics. We have P&Gs this week, Winter Cup, and P&Gs 2016. These meets will dictate who gets to go to Rio for the U.S. and it will be super competitive.”