Hawkeyes Host Penn State, Nebraska on Saturday


Fe 25, 2016


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The No. 7-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team returns to action to host No. 6 Nebraska and No. 8 Penn State on Saturday afternoon. The meet will be held inside the UI Field House at 1 p.m. (CT).

Fans can follow this weekend’s meet on live stats at livestats.hawkeyesports.com. A live stream can be found on the Periscope app, and linked to the team’s Twitter account (@mensgymiowa).

• UI students in attendance with a valid ID will receive a free slice of pizza as a part of Student Day.
• Season ticket holders can pick up their Iowa men’s gymnastics t-shirts prior to the meet.
• Junior Hawk Club members will receive free ice cream at the meet.
• Kids Zone will be available for young Hawkeye fans prior to the meet.
• Following the meet, men’s gymnastics student-athletes will sign autographs for fans.


The Hawkeyes sent junior Andrew Botto, senior Jack Boyle and senior Matt Loochtan to Las Vegas, Nevada, to compete in the annual Winter Cup Challenge last weekend.

In prelims, Loochtan placed 33rd with an 80.350 score in the all-around competition on day two. Loochtan’s 14.450 on floor was good enough to tie for 10th place and his 14.150 on rings tied for 17th. Botto placed 30th overall with a 80.950 and posted a 14.800 on vault, marking a season-high for the junior. Boyle tied for 21st overall with an 82.250 and continued his dominance on high bar, placing 15th with a 13.900. Loochtan and Boyle qualified for day two of the competition.

Loochtan and Boyle both qualified for finals and competed in the all-around. Loochtan scored an 83.050 on bringing his combined score to 163.400 for 22nd overall. His best score came on floor (14.150), where he placed 13th. Boyle finished two spots behind Loochtan in finals with a score of 79.750. He posted his highest event score on parallel bars (13.350) to place 22nd, and finished the weekend with a combined score of 162.000.

The Hawkeyes face off against two top 10 teams this weekend inside the UI Field House.
• Penn State enters this weekend undefeated in conference action with a 3-0 record.
• Leroy Clarke, Jr. is ranked fifth in the country on parallel bar with a three-score average of 15.167 and a high score of 15.250.
• Randy Jepson is in his 24th year as head coach of the Nittany Lions.
• Nebraska comes into the weekend ranked one spot ahead of Iowa at No. 6.
• The Cornhusker’s Kyle King is ranked sixth nationally on floor with a three-score average of 15.433.
• The Hawkeyes went 2-0 against Nebraska in 2015.
• Chuck Chmelka is in his seventh season as head coach of Nebraska.

Senior Jack Boyle is tied atop the national leaderboard on high bar this season with Stanford’s Akash Modi. Boyle owns a three-score average of 15.233 through five meets on high bar. The Naperville, Illinois, native posted his career-high of 15.300 against Illinois on Jan. 23. As a team, the Hawkeyes rank fifth nationally on high bar with a three-score average of 72.117.

Iowa made history in back-to-back meets on Jan. 23-24. The Hawkeyes have never scored above a 430.000 team score in January in the program’s history, but in 2016, the team did it twice with a 430.850 coming against Illinois and a 431.150 the next day at UIC.

The Big Ten Conference has been dominant so far this season. Of the top 10 teams listed on roadtonationals. com, seven are from the Big Ten, including No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Illinois, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Iowa, No. 8 Penn State, and No. 10 Michigan.

Three freshmen have found their way into the Iowa lineup this season.
Jake Brodarzon has competed in every meet for the Hawkeyes this season, making the lineup on floor and parallel bars.He posted season-high scores on floor (14.150) on Jan. 30 and parallel bars (14.050) on Jan. 23.
Todd Beyer II has competed for the Hawkeyes four times this season on vault. His best score came at UIC on Jan. 24, where he placed third overall with a 14.900.
Rogelio Vazquez has competed on three events this season including, rings, parallel bars and high bar. His high score on rings came against Illinois on Jan. 23, where he posted a 14.550. The next day, Vazquez notched a season-high on parallel bars (13.800) and on Jan. 30 he recorded a season-high on high bar (13.800).

During the Hawkeyes off-day on Feb. 6, junior Cory Paterson traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, with assistant coach Ben Ketelsen for the 2016 Elite Canada Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Paterson placed seventh in the all-around competition with a 79.100 and third on high bar with a 13.600 effort.

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.

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.

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.

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