IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team fell to Illinois, 404.700-401.850 on Saturday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa’s team score marked a new season-high.
The Hawkeyes won three event titles and recorded eight individual season-best and career-high scores and five team-best scores.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Floor: The Hawkeyes started the day on floor, with redshirt senior Mark Springett notching a season-best 13.900 and finishing third. Freshman Bennet Huang tied for fifth (13.750) and senior Dylan Ellsworth tied for eighth with a season-best 13.350.
Pommel Horse: Senior Austin Hodges notched a runner-up finish (14.200) for Iowa. Sophomore Nick Merryman and Kevin Johnson rounded out the top-five finishing fourth (13.500) and fifth (13.350), respectively.
Rings: Junior Rogelio Vazquez earned a runner-up finish with a season-best 13.800 to help Iowa record a season-high 67.600. Ellsworth finished third with a season-best 13.750 and Springett finished fifth with a season-best 13.550. Merryman (13.350, sixth) and Huang (13.150, tied for seventh) earned top-10 finishes and season-best scores for the Hawkeyes.
Vault: Ellsworth won the event title on vault with a 14.450 as the Hawkeyes earned a season-best 69.700. Huang notched a third-place finish with and tied his career-best 14.100. Freshman Addison Chung finished tied for sixth (13.750), while sophomore Mitch Mandozzi and freshman Kulani Taylor both recorded career-best scores (13.700) and tied for eighth.
Parallel bars: Hodges won Iowa’s second event title of the night with a 13.850 as Iowa recorded a season-best 66.350 on the event. Ellsworth (13.450) and Merryman (13.250) both finished in the top-five with third and fourth-place finishes, respectively. Junior Jake Brodarzon finished eighth with a season-best 13.000 and Huang finished 11th with a career-best 12.550.
High Bar: Huang recorded a runner-up finish with a career-high 13.600 to help the Hawkeyes earn a season-best 65.550. Hodges tied for fourth with a season-best 13.300, Merryman finished sixth with a 13.200 followed by Mandozzi who finished seventh with a career-high 13.100.
All-Around: Huang won the all-around crown with a career-high 79.450. Merryman followed in second with a career-high 77.300.
HEAR FROM COACH REIVE
“I’m pleased. We put up higher numbers than the previous weekends to help increase the average. We could have increased it significantly more than we did but that is sport and that’s how it goes. I thought it was a lot of fun. We were close the whole meet. In men’s gymnastics at this point you don’t get a point or two separating a meet for this long. It’s exciting. When we got to the fifth rotation it was routine-for-routine. It was a fun, competitive meet.”
The Hawkeyes travel to Norman, Oklahoma, to face the No. 1 Sooners on Feb. 10. Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT).