No. 6 Iowa to Compete in Arnold Challenge


March 3, 2016


Notes – Arnold Challenge Get Acrobat Reader

The No. 6-ranked University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team heads to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend for the Arnold Challenge. Saturday’s event will feature Nebraska and host Ohio State. The meet is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. (CT) inside the Celeste Center.

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

Iowa hosted No. 6-ranked Nebraska and No. 8-ranked Penn State for the first five-up five-count meet inside the UI Field House on Feb. 27. The Hawkeyes (431.150) won the meet followed by Penn State (424.000) and Nebraska (423.300). Iowa set a season-high on floor exercise with a 73.950 led by senior Matt Loochtan‘s 15.350. Loochtan claimed five event titles and set a career-high in the all-around with an 86.400. Sophomore Austin Hodges competed in his first meet of the season and led Iowa on pommel horse with a 14.500, tying for second overall.

The Hawkeyes face off against Ohio State and Nebraska in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend for the Arnold Challenge.
• Nebraska enters the weekend ranked seventh nationally.
• Iowa will see Nebraska for the second straight week after defeating them in Iowa City on Feb. 27.
• The Cornhuskers’ Ethan Lottman ranks fifth nationally on pommel horse with a three-score average of 15.250.
• Ohio State ranks third nationally with a three-score average of 438.317.
• Buckeye sophomore Sean Melton ranks fourth in the country in the all-around with an average score of 87.383.
• Melton holds the top spot nationally on rings with a three-score average of 15.533.

Senior Matt Loochtan was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week on Monday after helping Iowa defeat No. 6 Nebraska and No. 8 Penn State on Feb. 27. Loochtan earned five event titles on floor (15.350), rings (15.150), vault (14.450), parallel bars (14.850) and high bar (14.450) to help the Hawkeyes finish atop the leaderboard. His all-around score of 86.400 marked a career-high.

It is Iowa’s first Gymnast of the Week award since Jan. 26, 2015, when senior Jack Boyle won the award and Loochtan’s second weekly honor of his career. He won Big Ten Freshman of the Week on April 1, 2013.

Senior Jack Boyle is tied atop the national leaderboard on high bar this season with Stanford’s Akash Modi and Air Force’s Chase Cannon. Boyle owns a three-score average of 15.233 through six 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, seven are from the Big Ten, including No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Illinois, No. 6 Iowa, No. 7 Nebraska, 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 (14.550) and parallel bars (14.150) on Feb. 27.
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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