Hawkeyes Open Season at Windy City Invitational


Jan. 13, 2016


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The No. 9-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team begins its 2016 regular season at the Windy City Invitational hosted by UIC on Saturday, Jan. 17 inside the UIC Pavilion. Competition is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. (CT).


Fans can follow the meet online through live stats. A link to live stats will be available on the Iowa men’s gymnastics schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.

For the second time in the last three seasons, Iowa qualified for team finals at the NCAA Championship in Norman, Oklahoma. The Hawkeyes finished sixth nationally after setting season high scores of 72.200 on high bar and 73.800 on floor exercise. Jack Boyle led the team individually, finishing sixth overall on high bar with a 14.850 effort to secure All-American status on the event.

Iowa was picked to finish sixth in the Big Ten conference Preseason Coaches Poll, released on December 10. Iowa finished sixth in last year’s Big Ten Championship.
1. Ohio State
2. Penn State
3. Illinois
4. Michigan
5. Minnesota
6. Iowa
7. Nebraska

Junior Andrew Botto and senior Matt Loochtan were both named to the Big Ten Men’s Gymnasts to Watch List, announced by the conference on December 10. It is Botto’s first appearance on the list, while Loochtan earns the honor for the second consecutive season.

Loochtan, a 2014 All-American on rings, set a career best on vault in 2015 with a 15.150 at the Winter Cup in Las Vegas. Loochtan also set season highs with a 15.200 on rings in a March 15 meet against Nebraska and a 14.850 on parallel bars at the Big Ten Championships on March 27.

Botto, a Redwood City, California native, set new career bests on rings and vault in 2015. He scored a 15.050 on rings and placed second in a win against Minnesota and Nebraska on Feb. 14 and set another career high a month later with a 15.100 on vault, tying for first. Botto was named an academic All-Big Ten honoree in 2015.

The Hawkeyes will face off against UIC, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State.

  • UIC enters the meet after dropping its season opener to Illinois, 347.250-432.500
  • Illinois comes into the weekend with a 1-0 record after defeating UIC in its season opener.
  • Sophomore Bobby Baker was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2015.
  • Michigan is entering its first competition of the season after a fourth place finish in team finals at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
  • Minnesota is debuting its 2016 team this weekend. Iowa and Minnesota split the regular season series 1-1 in 2015.
  • This is Ohio State’s first action of 2016. Iowa and Ohio State split their regular season series, 1-1 in 2015.

The Hawkeyes welcome four freshmen to the team in 2016: Todd Beyer II, Jake Brodarzon, Kevin Johnson, and Rogelio Vazquez.

  • Beyer, a 2015 Iowa state champion in all-around, also competed at JO nationals in 2015, placing first on high bar, third on vault, and second on floor.
  • Brodarzon is a 2014 national champion on vault and was also crowned the 2015 state champion on floor, rings, vault, high bar, all-around in his home state of New Jersey.
  • Johnson competed at the 2015 Michigan state championships placing first on pommel horse and second on rings and competed at JO Nationals this past year
  • Vazquez is a back-to-back state Florida champion on rings and all-around and is a six-time JO National Championship qualifier (2009-15). He is also a regional champion on rings, parallel bars and all-around.

The 2016 men’s gymnastics team breaks down into four freshmen, three sophomores, five juniors and six seniors.

JD Reive is entering his sixth year as head coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2015-16 and seventh in Iowa history. Reive is looking for continued success following a sixth place finish at the NCAA Championships last year. Reive has led an all-american in each of the past three seasons and has one of the highest team GPA’s at Iowa with eight gymnasts named to the 2015 Big Ten Winter Academic All-Conference team.

In 2015, Iowa sent five gymnasts to compete in the event finals of the Big Ten Championship. Doug Sullivan was named all-conference on pommel horse following a score of 14.800. As a team, Iowa placed sixth with a team score of 427.600. At the NCAA event finals, Jack Boyle was named an all-american on high bar with a sixth place finish and a score of 14.850.

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. Reive was also named Collegiate Gymnastics Association Assistant Coach of the Year three times (2006, 2009 and 2010) and was also the National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009.

The Iowa men’s gymnastics team has signed three standout gymnasts for the 2016-17 season. Andrew Herrador (Sunnyvale, California), Nicholas Merryman (Brookline, New Hampshire) and Mitch Mandozzi (Harvard, Massachusetts) signed National Letters of Intent to continue their gymnastics career at Iowa. The recruiting class has combined for nine state championships and five national championships.

Iowa men’s gymnastics season tickets are on sale for $10. Season ticket holders gain admission to three home meets against Big Ten Conference opponents and receive an Iowa gymnastics long sleeve t-shirt with their purchase. All youth, 18 and under, and UI Students can attend home competitions for free. To purchase season tickets, visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS.

Web Address: hawkeyesports.com (see the men’s gymnastics schedule page for link to live stats)
Facebook: facebook.com/iowagymnastics
Twitter: twitter.com/iowagymnastics
Instagram: instagram.com/iowamgym
Youtube: youtube.com/iowagymnastics

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