Iowa gymnastics drops home opener to No. 4 Oklahoma


SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

A dominant performance by the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners was too much for the Iowa men’s gymnastics team to handle in its home-opener Feb. 2. The Hawkeyes grabbed an early lead after the first event, but they were unable to keep pace with the Sooners throughout the meet and fell, 436.55-420.200.

“They just have a lot more experience doing bigger gymnastics than we do at this point,” Iowa head coach JD Reive said. “They’ve been a great team for a long time. And we’re going to be that team, but it’s just going to take some time and patience to get there.”

Despite the loss, several Hawkeyes had reason to be proud of their performances during the six-event meet. Sophomore Lance Alberhasky placed second in the all-around competition with a score of 83.600. Senior Javier Balboa placed third in the all-around with a score of 80.100 despite his struggles on the high bars.

Anton Gryshayev, a senior from Littleton, Colo., dominated the still rings competition. In the Hawkeyes’ previous event, Gryshayev set a school record on the rings with a score of 15.800. On Feb. 2, he continued to prove why he’s the best still-ring performer in school history, outpacing the competition with ease and scoring a 15.500 on his way to winning the event.

“It’s hard to explain it,” Gryshayev said. “That’s just an event that I’m really good at, I guess. Every time I go out there, I’m trying to be the best.”

The 22-year old now holds the top-five scores for still rings in school history.

Reive defended his team’s effort thus far this season, despite the underwhelming results.

“I’m really proud of them even when they make these mistakes,” the third-year head coach said. “They’re putting their heart and soul out there and pushing each other even harder to make improvements.”

He does not plan to alter his coaching approach n the upcoming weeks, even though the team’s schedule is set to heat up.

The Hawkeyes won’t have much time to dwell on the loss — Big Ten competition is set to start this weekend. Competition in the conference is certain to be grueling; all seven Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10 by GymInfo.

Freshmen Matt Loochtan and Jack Boyle will travel to Las Vegas this weekend to compete in the Winter Cup Challenge. The rest of the Iowa squad is set to host Minnesota on Friday in Carver-Hawkeye arena. The event will be the first of two scheduled meets between the two squads this season.

Reive and his squad firmly believe the team will continue to improve throughout the season. Aside from the results, their focus right now is to fulfill that hope.

“Every practice and every meet, we’re practicing to get into that mental state for Big Tens and the NCAA championships,” Balboa said.

As each event passes, the Hawks believe the gap between themselves and the top-tier team in the nation will continue to shrink.

“Learning is making mistakes,” Reive said. “You’re going to make mistakes, and you need to learn from that. That’s the most important thing.”

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.