No. 12 Iowa Wins 2 Event Titles in Friday Tri-Meet

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The No. 12 University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team recorded their highest team score of the season in a tri-meet with No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 7 Minnesota on Friday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The top-ranked Sooners took the team title (426.600), while the Golden Gophers finished second (417.200), and Iowa finished third (414.650).

“I am pleased with the performance tonight,” said UI head coach JD Reive. “They came out as a group and competed as a team on every event from start to finish. They had a rough start but they got better and better as the meet went on. That says a lot about the heart of the team.”

Twelve gymnasts earned a total of 27 season bests. Senior Cory Paterson (high bar) and junior Austin Hodges (pommel) each took home individual event titles. 

Seniors Andrew Botto, Paterson, and Mark Springett, juniors Dylan Ellsworth, Hodges, and Elijah Parsells, sophomores Kevin Johnson and Rogelio Vazquez and freshmen Andrew Herrador, Mitch Mandozzi, Nick Merryman, and Josh Zeal all recorded season bests. 

Botto finished second in the all-around with a season-best score of 80.400. 

The Hawkeyes recorded a season-high event score on high bar with a total of 69.550. Paterson led the Hawkeyes with a score of 14.300 to clinch the event title.

 “It feels great to win an event title against a team like Oklahoma,” said Paterson. “It shows that all the hard work we’ve been doing in the gym pays off. When you can go up and hit the routines and stick the landing and do what you’ve been practicing it’s great.”

Hodges recorded a season-best score of 14.200 on high bar. That tied him for second place in the event. Herrador rounded out the top-five with his season-best score of 13.900, while Vazquez recorded a season-high score of 13.650 to tie for 11th.

The Hawkeyes scored a season-high 65.150 on pommel horse. Hodges led the way with an impressive score of 14.650 – a new season best — to win the event title. Parsells notched a fourth-place finish in the event with his season-best score of 14.000. Johnson (12.450) and Ellsworth (12.000) followed with season-best scores of their own.

“It feels pretty good to win an event title against Oklahoma and Minnesota,” said Hodges. “It gives me more confidence in the future against these top teams and against all of the teams at the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Championships.”

Iowa scored a season-high 72.650 on vault. Five Hawkeyes recorded individual season-bests. Botto finished tied for fourth with a score of 14.850. Springett (14.600), Herrador (14.250), Zeal (14.250), and Paterson (14.150) all notched season-bests.

Iowa scored a season-high score of 70.450 on parallel bars. All six Hawkeyes who competed in the event recorded season-high scores. Ellsworth finished third in the event with a score of 14.350.  Botto (14.250), Vazquez (14.200) and Hodges (14.100) finished fifth-seventh, respectively. Freshmen Merryman (13.550), and Mandozzi (13.500) also chipped in season-high scores.

The Hawkeyes notched their fifth season-high event score of the night on rings, recording a 70.150. Five Hawkeyes registered  season-bests on the event. Springett’s season-high score of 14.500 tied him for fourth overall. Ellsworth (14.450) came in fifth and Botto (14.200) followed in seventh, each recording new season-high scores. Vazquez (13.550) and Merryman (13.450) also notched season-bests.

Iowa scored a 66.700 on floor. They were led by Herrador’s season-high score of 13.750, which earned him a tie for sixth-place in the event. Ellsworth notched a season-high score of 13.350.  

The Hawkeyes head to Las Vegas to compete at the Winter Cup Challenge on Feb. 16-18. The event will be held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Competetion is schedueled to begin at 3 p.m. (CT) on Feb. 16.