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Freshman gymnast leads for hometown team

BY RYAN MURPHY | JANUARY 25, 2011 7:10 AM

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Lance Alberhasky is the only Hawkeye gymnast on the men’s roster to hail from his state. In fact, he’s the only male gymnast in his hometown to compete for Iowa in decades.

The state? Iowa.

The city? Iowa City.

The University of Iowa freshman, who went to Regina High School, has become a key part of the Iowa men’s gymnastics squad. Alberhasky shared first place in the horizontal bar against Illinois-Chicago on Jan. 22 with a 14.100 and placed in the top three in two other events. He was one of the gymnasts head coach JD Reive singled out as having a great meet.

Alberhasky called competing for the school he grew up as a fan of a “thrill.” He could often be found at the team’s annual intrasquad scrimmage.

“As a kid, I would always go to the Black and Gold meets,” he said. “I was definitely a Hawkeye fan.”

He has been coached by Iowa assistant Brad Virkler since he was 7, beginning at the club level at Iowa Gym-Nest. He was named Iowa Gymnast of the Year as a senior, and he won state titles in four individual events as well as the all-around, which consists of all six events (pommel horse, rings, horizontal bar, parallel bar, vault, floor exercise). He was also a three-time Academic All-American.
Reive has been impressed with the work ethic of Alberhasky in his first year — he immediately accepted the rigor of college gymnastics.



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“He’s come in, and he’s just a workhorse,” the first-year head coach said. “He’ll do whatever you ask of him.”

The Big Ten named Alberhasky as a “Gymnast to Watch” before the season, one of only two Hawkeyes to receive the distinction.

He believes he can compete for all-around championships at the Big Ten and NCAA level. In the first two meets of the season, he has competed in five of the six events, with pommel horse as the one exception. The vault in particular is an event in which Alberhasky feels he can succeed in if he hits his routine. Reive said the floor exercise, high bar, and parallel bar would all become strong events for him.

But Alberhasky hasn’t only performed well. In a first-year class highly regarded by Reive, Alberhasky has stood out as a leader — and teammates are taking notice.

“He’s a strong worker; he doesn’t slack off at all,” senior Ben Ketelsen said. “It’s great to see someone step up like that.”

The Iowa coach believes that a bright future awaits the Iowa City native in competing for his hometown school.

“[Alberhasky has] picked up a ton of skills, and he’s gotten a lot stronger,” Reive said. “He’s going to be a great collegiate gymnast.”


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