Hawkeyes Record 2 Top-10 Finishes at Winter Cup Challenge

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LAS VEGAS – The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team earned two top-10 finishes in the finals of the Winter Cup Challenge on Saturday night. 
“Day two of the Winter Cup went better than the first,” said assistant coach Tom Buese. “Botto had the fall on high bar but was solid everywhere else to finish in the top 20 of the country, including ninth on rings. Nick added in some difficulty on parallel bars and high bar, which will add some valuable tenths as we now enter the second half of our season. He also rocked another pommel horse set with a better dismount than the first day to finish ninth on the event. The guys did a great job of rising to the challenge of day two and it should provide them with some confidence and motivation to bring back to the team for the rest of the season.”
Gymnasts were ranked based on the combination of scores from each event in the preliminary session and the finals.
Andrew Botto finished 20th in the all-around, with a score of 154.400. The senior tied for ninth on rings with a score of 27.800, while his score of 28.150 on vault tied him for 15th. Botto finished 17th on floor with a 26.750, and registered a 22.900 on pommel, a 25.500 on parallel bars, and a 23.300 on high bar to round out his all-around score.
Freshmen Nick Merryman competed on pommel horse, rings, parallel bar, and high bar. He recorded a new season-best on pommel in the final session (13.900) to capture a top-10 finish with a score of 27.400. He recorded a 26.750 on rings, a 12.950 on parallel bars, and a 24.150 on high bar to round out the night.
The Hawkeyes return to action on Feb. 25 when they travel to Champaign, Illinois to face the No. 3-ranked University of Illinois Fighting Illini. Competition is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. at Huff Hall.