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Men’s gymnastics falls to No. 2 Michigan

BY CLARK CAHILL | FEBRUARY 01, 2010 7:30 AM

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It wasn’t really much of a contest.

The No. 9 Iowa men’s gymnastics team discovered why Michigan is ranked second in the nation and was the preseason pick to win the Big Ten after falling to the Wolverines, 352.45-340.00, on Jan. 30.

The Hawkeyes started the night on the floor exercise, the team’s best event, and posted 58.35, led by junior Ben Ketelsen’s 15.10.

Michigan began the competition on the pommel horse, posting a 57.55 behind a sweep of the top three spots led by junior Chris Cameron’s winning total of 14.95.

The slim lead over the Wolverines after one rotation was the only one the Hawkeyes saw the rest of the night as Michigan began to display its dominance.

In the second rotation, the Hawkeyes’ season-long struggles on the pommel horse continued; sophomore Jacob Swafford was the only Iowa competitor to post a top-five score in the event with a season-best 13.85.

Senior captain Jon Buese said the team’s struggles on pommel horse have been frustrating.

“We make the routines in practice, but it just isn’t translating in the competitions,” he said.

The Wolverines struggled a bit on the floor exercise and only posted 57.05 in the event, making it the only event the Hawkeyes would win on the night.

Even after winning the floor exercise, Iowa found itself down 114.80-111.40 after two rotations.
The Hawkeyes were led by freshman Matt McGrath on the rings (14.50), but the talent of Michigan began to show — McGrath’s score was only good enough for fourth place. The Wolverines took the rings, 58.95-57.60.

Iowa got some solid contributions on the vault from Buese (15.75) and Ketelsen (15.45), who took second and third place.

After four rotations, Michigan separated itself some more, 235.65-229.95.

The Wolverines took complete command over the Hawkeyes in the parallel bars and high-bar routines.

“We did have a lot of guys get their season-high totals for some events, so that was good, but we were a little short of where I would like to be,” Iowa head coach Tom Dunn said.

Buese quietly put together a solid score in the all-around with a season-best 84.85. Michigan junior Thomas Kelley took the all-around crown in his first appearance in all six events with a score of 85.90.

Iowa will return to competition Feb. 6 when it travels to face Illinois-Chicago. The Hawkeyes will be without Buese and Ketelsen, however; the two will compete in individual events at the Winter Cup in Las Vegas.


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