IOWA CITY, Iowa —The ninth-ranked university of Iowa men’s gymnastics team split its home opener against the University of Illinois-Chicago and No. 6 Minnesota inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes set a season-high team score, breaking 400 points for the first time this season. Iowa had three finishers in the top four, behind 2018 NCAA runner-up Shane Wiskus (Minnesota), in the all-around competition. Iowa was in first place after three of the six events.
HEAR FROM COACH REIVE
“One of the biggest goals this weekend was to hit 400 and we got past that, so they should be proud of that. We did what we wanted to tonight. We hit some really good routines and we still have room for improvement.”
“We ‘re being really good about taking what we’ve done over the weekend and addressing it in practice the following week to make sure that we show up. We make sure that we get a little better each weekend. Oklahoma is so good, so the goal is to come out and hit sets again, stick more landings, clean some things up. We want to be within a point and a half off of everything that we do and we are definitely getting to that place.”
HEAR FROM THE HAWKEYES
Stewart Brown: “I think the difference between last week and this week was that I had to believe that if I put the work in, it was going to show up at the meet. I knew the team needed me [on parallel bars] so I stepped up and did what I had to do.”
Jake Brodarzon: “I love it here at Carver, and it’s crazy that it’s my last first time here as a senior. I think the energy was good, being at home and not having the pressure of traveling is great. I felt like all of us guys felt a lot better, gymnastics wise.”
“As a team, we should notice that we are improving all season. We’re gaining a lot of confidence with our gymnastics and we are going out there and hitting sets and sticking dismounts. Using that to go into number one Oklahoma, we have to remember to stay within ourselves and not focus on what everyone else is doing. You can only control what you can, and if we do that we should give them a run for their money.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Hawkeyes began the meet in the lead with 66.900 team points. Sophomore Bennet Huang led Iowa with 13.950 points, placing third. Three Hawkeyes garnered season bests, they include: sophomore Kulani Taylor (13.150), senior Jake Brodarzon (13.500), and junior Andrew Herrador (13.400).
Iowa maintained its lead after the second rotation with a 131.800. Huang led the Hawkeyes on pommel, tying a season best (13.500) to place second. Freshman Evan Davis also scored a season-best 12.900 to place fifth.
Davis and sophomore Addison Chung both earned season-bests with 13.050 and 13.300, respectively. Brodarzon earned the top score for the Hawkeyes with a 13.650 to place second behind the returning Big Ten Gymnast of the Year (Shane Wiskus, Minnesota)
Iowa jumped back into first place after an exciting performance on parallel bars, scoring 67.350. Brown placed third, crushing his season-best with a 13.900, against the No. 2 ranked parallel bars team in the nation. Junior Mitch Mandozzi followed in fourth with a career-best 13.750.
Senior Rogelio Vazquez placed second with a season-best 13.500, and Herrador followed in third with a 13.300. Huang tied his season best, 13.150, to tie for fourth place.
Huang finished the all-around competition in second place to the 2018 NCAA event runner-up (Shane Wiskus, Minnesota) with a season best 80.250. Herrador and Brodarzon both followed in third and fourth place with 78.050 and 76.600, respectively.
The Hawkeyes are back in action on Saturday, Feb 9, hosting top-ranked Oklahoma at 2 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.