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Men’s gymnasts take fourth at Windy City Invitational

BY CLARK CAHILL | JANUARY 18, 2010 7:30 AM

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After an off-season of working to improve individual start values, the Iowa men’s gymnastics team competed in its first tournament of the spring season, placing fourth out of six teams at the 40th-annual Windy City Invitational on Jan. 16.

The Hawkeyes finished with a team total of 339.6; three Big Ten foes — Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio State — placed ahead of Iowa in the tournament. Illinois took first with a team score of 353.75.

Iowa head coach Tom Dunn said he was happy with the performance by his team in its first real competition of the season.

“We had some rough spots as everyone did in the first meet,” he said. “But the team really pulled together and pulled out a good score on each event, so we didn’t have to suck up any bad scores on any event.”

Senior Jon Buese, who placed seventh in the all-around with a score of 84.5, led the way for the Hawkeyes. The Gainesville, Fla., native’s finished sixth on the parallel bars at 14.4 and seventh on vault at 15.6.

“I competed with some new skills for the first time, and everything went pretty well,” he said. “All of the errors I did commit were things that I can easily fix so it was a good day.”

He was happiest with his performance on the pommel horse, he said, because his score of 13.75 helped Iowa to stay competitive after four out of the first five Hawkeyes fell off of the horse during their routines.

Junior Mike Jiang posted the high score for Iowa on the pommel horse with a score of 14.3, placing him in sixth in the event.

The Hawkeyes’ weekend did not go without any bad news. Freshman all-around competitor Anton Gryshayev dislocated his left ankle after landing awkwardly on a dismount during his vault routine.

The Littleton, Colo., native competed in five of six events before the injury and posted the high team score on rings, tying the school record with a 14.8. His score on rings was good enough for fifth overall in the event.

Pending the results of an MRI, he could be out four to six weeks if he does not need surgery. Surgery could sideline him for around two months.

Dunn said the injury is tough on the team because Gryshayev competes in all six events.

“We are going to have to change around our lineup a little bit,” Dunn said. “Someone is going to have to step up, so we will see how that goes.”

Other highlights for the Hawkeyes were senior Reid Urbain who had the high team score on the floor exercise with a 14.45 that tied him for 10th place in the event. Buese also had the high team score on horizontal bars with a 14.15, 12th overall in the event.

The Hawkeyes now turn their sights on the Oklahoma Sooners, who will invade the Field House on Saturday. The Sooners are ranked third in the nation in the coaches’ poll.

Oklahoma posted a score of 347.4 to win the Rocky Mountain Open on Jan. 16 in its first tournament, 7.8 points higher than Iowa’s score the same day.

The Sooners boast one of the top recruiting classes, including top freshman Jacob Dalton, who won the all-around at the Rocky Mountain Open with a score of 87.5.

Buese said it seems every time Oklahoma has a guy graduate, there is a new freshman who comes in who is just as good. But despite the great Sooner gymnasts, Buese is optimistic about Iowa’s hopes.

“We are looking a lot better, and we had a pretty good score Saturday,” he said. “The good thing is we have a lot of room to improve from our last performance, so I know we can post a much higher score.”


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