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Men’s gymnasts fall in disappointing loss to Minnesota

BY RYAN MURPHY | FEBRUARY 14, 2011 7:20 AM

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With two weeks to prepare, the Iowa men’s gymnastics team was physically ready for competition.

The problem, said head coach JD Reive, came in the execution. Posting their lowest team score of the season, the No. 9 Hawkeyes fell to No. 7 Minnesota, 336.500-330.100, on Feb. 11 in the Field House.

Reive said he was not pleased.

“It was disappointing,” the first-year head coach said. “I can chalk it up a little bit to the learning process, but I think we were just scared that we could actually beat a team like this.”

Sophomore Matt McGrath said that the team focused more on the result as opposed to the routines.

“I’d say we were definitely more focused on beating Minnesota than on hitting on sets, and the way you beat a team like that is to hit sets,” he said.

The meet began with a bad omen for the Hawkeyes — senior Ben Keelson injured his leg, and he was able to compete in only one more event. Reive said Ketelsen had hyperextended his knee “pretty bad,” and the senior will be out of action for “a little while.”

Sophomore Timm Krueger said the loss of Ketelsen was a big blow.

“It was tough losing him,” Krueger said. “He’s a good leader and a great gymnast, and it may have contributed to everyone’s morale being low.”

Iowa only defeated Minnesota in one event, besting the Gophers by 0.4 on the rings. McGrath and Anton Gryshayev both scored a 14.7 to win the event.

“That was the gem of the day, I suppose,” McGrath said. “I was definitely happy with rings.”

Iowa’s only other winner on the night was senior Mike Jiang, who scored a 14.1 to claim victory on the horizontal bar. Reive said Jiang was able to step up but after the meet was virtually decided.

The Hawkeyes will return to action Saturday night against No. 10 Nebraska in the Field House.

Reive, a Nebraska alum, said a lot of the changes are needed before the meet against the Cornhuskers.

“I need to get them to understand that they are ready to go, that they can win these meets,” he said.


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