Jan. 23, 2016
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Iowa City, Iowa —The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team dropped its home opener to No. 3 Illinois, 431.150 – 430.850, Saturday afternoon inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes claimed three of the six event titles and the all-around, but mistakes cost Iowa the upset.
“It was a fun meet,” head coach JD Reive said. “As a whole they performed much better. They got into a much better rhythm and they are more comfortable out there in front of judges and a crowd.”
The Hawkeyes started off on floor where junior David Spanier and senior Jack Boyle each posted a 14.850, tying for second on the event. Sophomore Dylan Ellsworth finished fifth on the event with a 14.650. After one rotation Iowa led 72.800 – 68.950.
Pommel horse caused some problems for the team as it has in the past. Senior Doug Sullivan led the way for Iowa on the second rotation finishing third overall with a 14.200. However, some misses on the event led to a low total with a 67.150 and Illinois took the lead 142.400 – 139.950 going into the third rotation.
Iowa bounced back on rings with its highest rings total of the season (74.150). Boyle and junior Andrew Botto earned first and second on the event with scores of 15.250 and 15.200, respectively. After three rotations, Iowa closed the gap to 214.100 – 215.800.
Iowa stumbled on vault in the fourth rotation. Ellsworth led the team and placed third overall on the event with a 14.850 effort, while senior Matt Loochtan tied for fourth with a score of 14.700. Illinois extended its lead to 288.950 – 286.300 after four events.
On parallel bars, Ellsworth claimed his first event title of the season, scoring a 15.200 and shattering his previous career high of 14.600. Boyle tied for fourth with a 14.500 and Botto tied for sixth with a 14.400 as Iowa took back the lead heading into the final rotation.
In the final rotation, Iowa swept the event, taking the top three spots overall. Boyle’s 15.300 on the event was just shy of tying his career best. Junior Cory Paterson finished runner up with a 14.700 and Loochtan earned third with a 14.450 effort.
Despite an impressive string of routines, Iowa couldn’t overcome Illinois and fell 431.150 – 430.850.
In the all-around competition, Iowa had three gymnasts compete. Boyle won the all-around with a total score of 85.950, Loochtan finished third place in the all-around with a score of 84.450 and Ellsworth was fourth with an 82.150. It was Ellsworth’s first time competing all-around for the Hawkeyes.
The Hawkeyes are back in action tomorrow against UIC inside the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. The competition begins at 2 p.m. (CT).