CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Five University of Iowa men’s gymnasts advanced to day two of the Big Ten Championships on Friday night in Champaign, Illinois. The Hawkeyes finished sixth in the team race with a score of 402.150.
They were led by seniors Andrew Botto and Cory Paterson, redshirt junior Mark Springett, and juniors Elijah Parsells and Dylan Ellsworth, advanced to the individual finals tomorrow. Senior Andrew Botto finished 10th in the all-around with a score of 76.950.
“The one thing I will take away from this is we lost as a team today,” says head coach JD Reive. “We didn’t split off. We didn’t splinter. They stayed together and that’s says a lot about why we enjoy being on the floor with this group and why they’re able to do what they’re doing and help move the program forward. They stayed together as a group. The Hawkeyes came in and the Hawkeyes under performed and the Hawkeyes are going to go back and try to do better the next time.”
Parsells notched a season-best 14.050 and finished eighth on pommel horse to make it to the individual finals tomorrow. Junior Austin Hodges and freshman Nick Merryman recorded a 13.850 to tie for 12th.
“It was definitely an amazing experience,” said Merryman. “It’s a meet that’s like no other and I think it went pretty well for me. The team did a lot of great stuff, just a couple of other things that were out of the normal and a a lot of flukes that happened. Other than that I was impressed with how we did and how the freshmen were able to compose themselves throughout the meet.”
Botto scored a 14.300 and tied for runner-up to lead Iowa on rings. Springett notched a 13.800 to finish 10th. Both Botto and Springett advance to individual finals tomorrow.
Iowa notched a 69.850 on vault. Junior Dylan Ellsworth led the way with a 14.600 to tie for seventh. He advances to the individual finals tomorrow.
Paterson notched a 14.400 and finished fifth to help the Hawkeyes score 65.150 on high bar. Paterson’s 14.300 advances him to the individual finals tomorrow.
“It feels great to advance to tomorrow,” said Paterson. “I missed finals the last three years by half a tenth or more so I accomplished one of my goals and I’m excited to do another set tomorrow.”
Iowa scored 64.150 on floor. Freshman Andrew Herrador led the way, scoring a 14.050 to tie for 16th.
The Hawkeyes recorded a 67.400 on parallel bars. Junior Austin Hodges and sophomore Rogelio Vazquez led the way with a 13.850 to finish tied for 15th. Senior Cory Paterson wasn’t far behind with a score of 13.800 to finish 17th.
The Hawkeyes return to competition tomorrow as they compete at in day two of the Big Ten Championships. Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT) at the State Farm Center in Champaign,