IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s gymnastics team came back from a 7.8-point deficit to bounce the No. 9 Buckeyes, 399.650-396.400.
Freshman Evan Davis tied or broke four career-bests, placing first in the all-around competition. Junior Nick Merryman took home the crown on high bar with a 13.350. Senior Jake Brodarzon and Merryman tied for first place on parallel bars with a 13.650.
The Hawkeyes trailed the Buckeyes by 7.800 points after the third rotation but came back to win the meet by 3.250 points.
HEAR FROM COACH REIVE
“We didn’t hit a rhythm at the beginning we were struggling to hit a stride, which happens in this sport sometimes. I was a little concerned that their energy wasn’t going to be directed, but they did a great job of making mistakes which is something that we have been focusing on that mental resiliency. It’s not over until the last routine, literally in this sense. It became who can manage the mental game today more than the other. It says a lot about this group of guys and the seniors that we sent off, that they were able to keep pulling them back in and that we were able to make some mistakes and still hit some things after that.”
QUOTING THE HAWKEYES
“It was hard in the beginning. It made me feel better knowing that the other seniors were nervous as well. Once you shake them off you realize that it is just like any other competition, and you go out there and make sure that you don’t get caught up in all the things that create that pressure in your head.
“I think that we came into this week on our high horses knowing that we have been doing well and we are on a win streak. There is nothing that should be given to us, and that we need to remember that. We have to keep telling everyone that we deserve it and we have to show it. We have to get out there and stop worrying about the pressure around winning and expecting to do well. We have to show everyone that we can do well, and we have to work for it.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
Davis earned a career-best, 13.800, to place fourth. Sophomore Bennet Huang led the Hawkeyes with a 13.909, placing second. Juniors Andrew Herrador and Brandon Wong contributed 13.700 (5th) and 13.000 (7th), respectively. Iowa started the meet down 67.300-66.050.
Huang led Iowa with a 13.550 to place fourth. Merryman and Davis contributed 13.350 (5th) and 13.100 (6th) to the Hawkeyes’ team score, respectively. Iowa trailed Ohio State 134.400-132.150 after the second rotation.
Wong led the Hawkeyes with a 13.650 on rings, placing second. Reshirt sophomore Tyler Ball followed close behind with a 13.500 to place third. Evan Davis placed fourth with a 13.450, tying a career-high. Iowa was down 206.550-198.750 at the halfway point.
Brodarzon led the Hawkeyes to tie for third with a 14.450, tying a career-best. Davis tied his third career-high of the day to place ninth with a 13.950. Junior Mitch Mandozzi broke a career-best score to place sixth, posting a 14.300. Iowa closed the gap with a strong rotation, posting a 70.650 to the total team score. The Hawkeyes were still trailing 272.700-269.400.
Brodarzon and Merryman both led Iowa with 13.650, tying for first. Mandozzi and freshman Stewart Brown contributed 13.100 (7th) and 13.150 (6th) to Iowa’s 66.600 rotation score. The Hawkeyes took the lead after the fifth rotation, leading the Buckeyes, 336.000-332.650.
Merryman captured the event title posting a 13.350. Evan Davis suffered from a minor injury while competing on the event. Huang stepped in and hit his routine posting a 13.100 to place second. The Hawkeyes took a one-point deduction for the change in the rotation. The Hawkeyes maintained their lead to defeat the Buckeyes 399.650-396.400.
Davis bested or tied four career-highs including: floor (13.800), rings (13.450), vault (13.950), and parallel bars (12.950). He captured the all-around title placing fourth on floor, sixth on pommel horse, fourth on rings, and ninth on vault and parallel bars.
The Hawkeyes travel to Minneapolis for their final regular season meet against Minnesota and Penn State at 2 p.m. (CT) on March 23.