Hawkeyes to Compete in Back-to-Back Meets


Jan. 21, 2016


Notes – UIC/Illinois Get Acrobat Reader

The No. 10-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team participates in back-to-back meets this weekend. The Hawkeyes host No. 3-ranked Illinois on Saturday Jan. 23 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 1 p.m. (CT). The following day Iowa will travel to Chicago for a dual meet with UIC inside the UIC Pavilion. The competition begins at 2 p.m. (CT).


• Saturday is Black and Gold night. Fans are encouraged to wear black and gold to the meet.
• Fans will be able to pick up free men’s gymnastics schedule cards, posters, and key tags.
• Kids Zone will be available for young Hawkeye fans prior to the meet.
• Season ticket holders can pick up their free Iowa men’s gymnastics T-Shirt located at the East Entrance.
• All Season Ticket Holders and UI students receive a free slice of pizza.

Fans can follow both meets through live stats and a live stream on Hawkeye All-Access. Links to both will be available on the Iowa men’s gymnastics schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.

Iowa traveled to Chicago for the 46th Annual Windy City Invitational, hosted by UIC. The Hawkeyes opened with a fourth place finish and a final team score of 419.650. Illinois took the overall team title (425.950) followed by Ohio State (425.700), Minnesota (424.500), Iowa (419.650), Michigan (413.700), and UIC (378.450). Individually junior Cory Paterson placed fifth on high bar with a 14.900 and junior Mark Springett set a new career high on vault with a 14.900 effort. Senior Matt Loochtan was the lone Hawkeye to compete all-around, placing third overall with an 84.100.

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 Dec. 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 last season. He scored a 15.050 on rings for second place 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 also named an academic All-Big Ten honoree.

• Illinois competed in its second meet of the season last weekend with a first place finish at the Wind y City Invitational on Jan. 17 with a team score of 425.950.
• Illinois currently holds two of the top three spots on pommel horse according to roadtonationals. Com. Brandon Ngai sits in first place in the country with a 15.425 average while Logan Bradley is in third with a 15.075 average.
• Illinois is coached by Justin Spring, who is in his seventh year as head coach of the program.
• UIC will clash with Iowa for the second straight weekend. The Hawkeyes defeated UIC at the Windy City Invitational on Jan. 17, 419.650-378.450.
• Head coach Charley Nelson is in his 20th season with the program.

The Iowa men’s gymnastics team 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.

The Hawkeyes welcomed four freshmen to the team for 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, second on floor, and third on vault.
• 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. He also competed at JO Nationals this past year.
• Vazquez, a back-to-back state Florida champion on rings and all-around, 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 in to four freshmen, three sophomores, five juniors and six seniors.

The Big Ten Conference has been dominant so far this season. Of the top ten teams listed on roadtonationals.com, six are from the Big Ten: Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa.

JD Reive, the seventh head coach at Iowa, is entering his sixth year at the helm of the program. 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.

Iowa men’s gymnastics season tickets are on sale for $10 until January 29. 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.

Print Friendly Version