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Men's gymnasts begin season with intrasquad meet

BY RYAN MURPHY | DECEMBER 05, 2011 7:20 AM

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Iowa men's gymnastics head coach JD Reive didn't expect a perfect meet from his team in Sunday's Black and Gold Intrasquad meet.

As he said, "It's only Dec. 4."

But the performance his No. 10 Hawkeyes gave in the Field House — while far from perfect — left him pleased with about a month left before Iowa's first official event.

"I expected it to be a little chaotic, but it went really good for us," Reive said.

The Gold team claimed victory in the meet, which was held in conjunction with the women's team, 473.60-460.65.

Reive pointed out veterans such as Matt McGrath, Anton Gryshayev, and Broderick Shemansky as some of the leaders for the Hawkeyes. Those three, along with junior Javier Balboa, combined to record Iowa's highest scores in all six events. The day's highest overall score was a 15.10, achieved twice by Hawkeyes who controlled their events in the 2010-11 season. McGrath recorded the score on the floor exercise, where he was nationally ranked for most of the season, and Gryshayev earned the 15.10 on the still rings. The Littleton, Colo., native owns the top five scores on the rings in school history.

Reive also said freshman Mitchell Landau's performance was encouraging, and McGrath said the performances of young Hawkeyes such as Landau and fellow freshman Devin Clarke is a good sign.

"It's always good to get good performances out of the younger guys," McGrath said. "I think the meet went pretty well for us."

Balboa was one of two gymnasts to record team-high scores in more than one event — the vault and the pommel horse. The other was Shemansky, who led the Hawkeyes in the high bar and the parallel bar. Balboa said the team's talent level has jumped between the first and second years under Reive.

"You could tell, we look a lot better this year than we did at this time last year," Balboa said. "We are really starting to settle into [Reive's] program, and it's showing for us."

Before the team returns to competition on Jan. 14, 2012 in the Windy City Invitational — a meet that features some of the top teams in the Big Ten — Reive said his Hawkeyes simply need to keep the intensity up in practice.

"Repetition, repetition, repetition," he said. "That's the most important thing we need to do."

McGrath said he and his teammates need to ensure they are fully prepared for their entire set on the floor so that they don't tire at the end.

"The one thing we need to work on is endurance," he said. "You could tell guys were a little gassed at the end of their sets, so that's something for us to work on."

The women's side was highlighted by Rachel Corcoran's 10 on the floor exercise. Emma Stevenson put up scores of 9.95 on both the uneven bars and the floor exercise.


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