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Reins shines for Hawks on vault

BY JORDAN GARRETSON | APRIL 07, 2009 7:30 AM

The Iowa men’s gymnastics team earned a score of 337.75, the team’s third-best score of the season, to finish in sixth place at the Big Ten championships on April 3 in Ann Arbor, Mich. Illinois and Michigan tied for first with scores of 357.10. They were followed by Ohio State at 349.90, Minnesota, at 348.00, Penn State at 340.80, and Iowa.

Overall, Hawkeye head coach Tom Dunn was satisfied with his young team’s performance against a difficult field.

“I think we were at the level I anticipated,” he said. “We had some guys make some mistakes, but we didn’t have to count any bad routines — we had good routines on each event to make our team score.”

Despite Iowa’s sixth-place finish, the Hawkeyes were not without their bright spots in the team competition. Junior captain Jonathan Buese earned fifth place in the all-around with a score of 79.80. In his final Big Ten competition, senior Geoff Reins delivered a 15.15 on floor for sixth place in addition to a 16.25 first-place performance on vault that propelled the Buffalo Grove, Ill., native into April 4’s individual finals.



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“Geoff did really well — his vault and floor performances were great,” said junior Reid Urbain, who scored a Hawkeye best 14.20 on rings. “Seeing that kind of a performance inspires us all to do the best that we can.”

Reins delivered an even better performance in the April 4 individual event finals. The senior earned All-Big Ten status with his conference championship-clinching 16.125 on vault. He was also able to capture third place in the floor exercise, scoring 14.925.

“It was a great experience for me,” Reins said. “I’ve been in the finals before, but never come out on top. I was excited to get Iowa a championship.”

But Reins’ weekend performance was simply a continuation of the kind of success he has enjoyed all season long in his final collegiate campaign.

“I had pretty good practices the last month or so,” he said. “I really kind of pushed myself a little harder this year than any other year. I felt prepared and pretty confident that there was a good chance I could come out on top.”

Iowa is now ranked 10th in GymInfo’s poll as of Monday, and it will shift its attention toward NCAA Qualifiers on April 16 in Minneapolis. Not only will the Hawkeyes be gunning for a run at earning a spot in the NCAA championships, but Reins will try to duplicate this past weekend’s success as well.

He should be among the nation’s best performers on the vault — and his coach feels he has a shot of winning a national championship.

“He’s very capable of winning the whole thing,” Dunn said. “His vault will stand up with anybody’s in the country. The vault he did [on April 3] I think would win him a national championship.”

Meanwhile, Reins will enter the meet with the same “business-as-usual” mindset that helped him earn a spot on the All-Big Ten first team.

“Individually, if I continue to have the practices that I had going into Big Tens, I’m hoping that NCAAs will turn out in a similar way,” he said.


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