WEST POINT, NY – Eight University of Iowa men’s gymnasts competed at the 2017 NCAA Championships Finals on Saturday. Senior Andrew Botto finished 14th in the all-around with a score of 80.850.
“We had some good performances,” said head coach JD Reive. “I think they performed really well. We tried to add some things in that didn’t go very well to bump up difficulty and potentially put us in the spot for an All-American. We went out and showed off in finals, one of the most exciting gymnastics competitions of all time. They handled their routines. They did good gymnastics and we made some mistakes trying to do some things to put us in some podium contention. It was a phenomenal learning experience for the freshmen. It was great for all of the guys to be here and see this. I believe they said we dipped our toes in it and now it’s time to dive in. It was very motivating and we’re ready to go back and get to work for this time next year.”
Botto started the night off on vault, where he recorded a 14.050 to finish 29th. Junior Dylan Ellsworth also competed vault. He tallied a 14.450 to finish 18th.
Botto was back in action in rotation two, competing on parallel bars. Junior Austin Hodges competed on pommel horse and senior Cory Paterson was on parallel bars. Hodges notched a 13.500 on pommel horse to finish tied for 27th, Botto finished tied for 28th on parallel bars with a score of 13.950, and Paterson scored a season-high 14.450 on parallel bars to finish tied for 10th.
Rotation three saw freshman Nick Merryman on pommel horse and red shirt junior Mark Springett on rings along with all-arounder Botto and Paterson on high bar. Merryman scored a 12.950 on pommel horse to finish 37th, Springett finished tied for 26th on rings with a score of 13.800 and Botto ended up in 41st on high bar with a 12.600. Paterson recorded a 14.200 on high bar to end up in 12th place on his last routine as a Hawkeye.
Botto and Merryman were back in action in for rotation four. Botto notched a 13.450 on floor to finish tied for 35th, while Merryman finished 39th on rings with a score of 13.250.
Sophomore Kevin Johnson and Botto both competed on pommel horse in rotation five. Johnson hit a 11.300 for a 45th place finish and Botto ended up 42nd with a score of 12.350.
In the last set of the season, Ellsworth and Botto were on rings, sophomore Rogelio Vazquez competed on parallel bars, and Hodges performed on high bar. Ellsworth notched a 13.750 on rings to finish 29th, Hodges finished tied for 20th on high bar with a score of 13.600, and Vazquez ended up in 40th on parallel bars with a score of 13.100. Botto notched a 14.450 on rings to finish ninth on his last routine as a Hawkeye.
The Hawkeyes return home to Iowa City tomorrow to look ahead to 2018.