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Shemansky supplies six scores for Iowa gymnastics

BY RYAN MURPHY | FEBRUARY 16, 2012 6:30 AM

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Iowa junior Brody Shemansky isn't ranked in the nation's top 20 in any single gymnastics event.

But his ability to compete on all six events has the junior ranked No. 13 on the all-around.

The junior from Los Gatos, Calif., won the all-around competition for the first time in his Hawkeye career on Feb. 11 against Illinois. Shemansky posted an 82.500 total on the six events, a career best.

He said he enjoys competing on the all-around both because it gives him a chance to help the Hawkeyes in a bigger way, and because it gives him the opportunity to bounce back from mistakes.

"I like it a lot more," Shemansky said. "It makes me feel more involved with the team because I'm on every event with them, and it always gives me a chance to redeem myself if I know I need to make up for a score."

Shemansky competed on the all-around as a freshman, but only worked on select events as a sophomore. His top all-around score in his freshman season was a 81.450 at the 2010 Big Ten meet.

Head coach JD Reive said Shemansky always possessed the ability to be an all-arounder, but it never quite worked out during his sophomore campaign.

"He could have been a six-event guy last year, but he got knocked out on certain events," Reive said. "It was something we had always wanted to do — we kept pushing him through the summer and fall, and we started to put it together."

Teammate and fellow junior Javier Balboa is eighth in the nation in the all-around, making the Hawkeyes one of only three teams — Illinois and Stanford are the other two — with more than one of the nation's top 15 all-arounders.

Junior Matt McGrath said having two six-event athletes is a big boost for the Hawkeyes.

"It definitely means a lot to us right now," he said. "They're two of our best gymnasts, and having them do every event is really helpful."

Shemansky's best event is the horizontal bar, where he has the top Iowa average of 13.967. This score puts him in the top 15 on the event in the Big Ten, the best men's gymnastics conference in the country. Shemansky finished 12th on the horizontal bar at the 2011 Big Ten championships.

Reive said Shemansky's most valuable attribute as an all-arounder is his ability to handle the psychology of competing six times.

"I think it's better for him," Reive said. "He does a better job handling six events because there's a lot of psychological stuff that goes into it. When you do only one or two events, when those events come up, it's pretty intense. [The all-around] helps balance out the emotion."

Shemansky said he feels he can contribute more to the Hawkeyes, who next compete against No. 1 Oklahoma on Feb. 25 in Norman, Okla.

"I've had a few rough meets, so I'm looking to move up in the standings," the junior said. "There is a lot more I can do better, and I think I can do it."


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