|MEET #5: IOWA at ILLINOIS|
|Date||Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 | 4 p.m. (CT)|
|Location||Champaign, Illinois | Huff Hall (4,050)|
The No. 10 University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team travels to Champaign, Illinois to compete against the No. 3 University of Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday. Competition is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. (CT) at Huff Hall.
Fans can follow the meet online through live stats. A link to live stats will be available on the Iowa men’s gymnastics schedule page at hawkeyesports.com. Fans can also follow along with updates on Twitter (@mensgymiowa) and Facebook (iowagymnastics).
LAST TIME OUT
- Senior Andrew Botto and freshmen Andrew Herrador and Nick Merryman traveled to Las Vegas to compete at the Winter Cup Challenge.
- Botto and Merryman each advanced to the finals.
- Botto recorded a season-best 13.700 on floor to tie for 17th and finished 19th in the all-around in the preliminary session.
- Merryman tied for 12th on pommel horse with a then season-best score of 13.500 in the prelims.
- Herrador score a season-best 11.950 on pommel horse, which tied him for 42nd. He also finished 37th in the all-around.
- Botto finished 20th in the all-around in the finals and tied for ninth on rings with a combined score of 27.800.
- Merryman captured a top-10 finish on pommel horse with a combined score of 27.400. His score of 13.900 in the finals topped his previous season-best which he recorded in the prelims.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS
The 2017 Big Ten Championships will be hosted by the University of Illinois on April 7-8. Tickets are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit fightingillini.com or contact the Illinois Ticket Office at 1-866-ILLINI-1.
IN THE RANKINGS
- Iowa is ranked No. 10 in the Feb. 20 Coaches Poll.
- The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 9 in the Road to Nationals Poll.
AROUND THE NATION
As a team, Iowa is ranked fourth on vault, seventh on parallel bars and tied for sixth on high bar.
SCOUTING THE FIELD
- The Fighting Illini are undefeated.
- Illinois defeated Penn State, 411.350-404.500, on Feb. 3.
- Illinois had three gymnasts compete in the finals of the Winter Cup Challenge on Feb. 18.
- Brandon Ngai finished second on pommel horse.
- Iowa lost to the Fighting Illini, 412.150-387.550, on Jan. 14 at the Windy City Invitational.
- The Fighting Illini are ranked No. 2 on rings and high bar, No. 4 on floor, No. 5 on parallel bars, No. 6 on pommel horse and tied for eighth on vault.
BOTTO RANKED ON ALL-AROUND
Senior Andrew Botto is ranked No. 19 on all-around with an average score of 78.258 and a season-high score of 14.300 (Oklahoma/Minnesota, 2/10).
ELLSWORTH RANKED ON PARALLEL BARS
Junior Dylan Ellsworth is ranked tied for 23rd on parallel bars with an average score of 13.375 and a season-high score of 14.350 (Oklahoma/Minnesota, 2/10).
Senior Andrew Botto and junior Dylan Ellsworth are tied for 24th on still rings.
- Botto has an average score of 13.550 and a season-high score of 14.200 (Oklahoma/Minnesota, 2/10).
- Ellsworth has an average score of 13.600 and a season-high score of 14.450 (Oklahoma/Minnesota, 2/10).
Juniors Austin Hodges and Elijah Parsells are tied for 30th on pommel horse.
- Hodges has an average score of 12.875 and a season-high score of 14.650 (Oklahoma/Minnesota, 2/10).
- Parsells has an average score of 13.188 and a season-high score of 14.000 (Oklahoma/Minnesota, 2/10).
ELLSWORTH, BOTTO, AND SPRINGETT VAULT INTO THE RANKINGS
- Junior Dylan Ellsworth is ranked tied for 13th on vault with an average score of 14.400 and a season-high score of 14.700 (UIC, 1/22).
- Senior Andrew Botto is tied for 15th on vault with an average score of 14.292 and a season-high score of 14.850 (Oklahoma/Minnesota, 2/10).
- Senior Mark Springett is ranked No. 21 on vault with an average score of 14.238 and a season-high score of 14.600 (Oklahoma/Minnesota, 2/10).
TWO HAWKEYES NAMED TO WATCH LIST
Juniors Dylan Ellsworth and Austin Hodges were named to the 2017 Big Ten Men’s Gymnasts to Watch list, the conference office announced Dec. 15.
- Ellsworth placed fifth overall during event finals at the Big Ten Championships last season. He went on to tie for 26th on vault and 18th on parallel bars during the second day of of the 2016 NCAA championships.
- Hodges recorded a career-best score of 14.725 on pommel horse to finish seventh at the Big Ten Championships and ended the 2016 season with a 25th place finish on high bar during day two of the NCAA Championships.
Iowa returns 12-of-18 gymnasts from last season. Senior Cory Paterson and juniors Dylan Ellsworth and Austin Hodges look to continue from their impressive showings from day two of the NCAA Championships last year. Paterson tied for 37th on high bar (13.750), Ellsworth tied for 26th on vault (14.700) and 18th on parallel bars (13.700) and Hodges tied for 25th on high bar (14.350).
The 2017 men’s gymnastics team breaks down into six freshmen, four sophomores, three juniors and four seniors.
The Hawkeyes welcome six freshmen to the team in 2017: Andrew Herrador, Mitch Mandozzi, Nick Merryman, Brandon Wong, Kirill YeFremenko, and Josh Zeal.
- Herrador placed second at the 2015 California State Championship. He competed at the P&G Championships in 2015 where he placed 24th in all-around and fourth on high bar.
- Mandozzi placed first on vault at the Massachusetts state competition.
- Merryman, a two-time Junior Olympics National Team member, competed at the 2016 P&G Championships where he placed second on high bar, fourth on parallel bar and eighth on pommel horse.
- Wong, a five-time Junior Olympic National Qualifier, placed first on rings and fourth in all-around at the 2016 California State Competition. He finished runner-up in all-around at both the 2016 Cal Benefit Cup and the 2016 Stanford Open.
- YeFremenko competed at the 2016 BlackJack Men’s Championship & Winter Cup Challenge where he placed 12th on all around and seventh on high bar.
- Zeal placed first in all-around, pommel horse, and vault at the Illinois State Competition.
A new scoring system will be implemented this year. The new system eliminates an element category in five of the six events, which means that each gymnast will do one less skill in their routine. The old scoring system was based off of five element groups. The result of the change is that each gymnast’s score will be .500 points lower than before and team scores will be 15 points lower.
Former University of Iowa Gymnast Thomas Buese was named the University of Iowa men’s gymnastics assistant coach in August. Buese competed for the Hawkeyes from 2005-08. He was a four-time letter winner and was team captain in 2008.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
For an inside look at the Iowa men’s gymnastics program and access to exclusive coverage, “like” Iowa Men’s Gymnastics on Facebook and follow @MensGymIowa on Twitter and @IowaMGym on Instagram.
The Hawkeyes head to Lincoln, Nebraska to face off against the University of Nebraska at the Bob Devaney Sport Center. Competition is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m (CT) on March 4.