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No. 9 Iowa men's gymnastics travels to Nebraska to face the Cornhuskers

BY RYAN PROBASCO | MARCH 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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The No. 9 Iowa men’s gymnastics team will travel to Lincoln on Saturday to take on No. 10 Nebraska. The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Devaney Sports Center.

In their last time out, the Hawkeyes fell to Minnesota, 428.750-416.300, snapping a three-dual-meet winning streak for the Black and Gold.

This week, the Hawkeyes say, diligence and a having a positive attitude will be crucial if they are to return to their winning ways.

“A positive outlook is necessary,” senior Brody Shemansky said. “Against Minnesota, we didn’t necessarily have a negative attitude, but we went into it a little bit differently than previous meets. We weren’t as pumped up and not as mentally ready.”

Despite the disappointing loss against the Gophers, four Hawkeyes received individual titles during the meet. Senior all-around gymnast Javier Balboa won his event for the fourth-consecutive week. Preparation and selflessness, his coaches say, have been the reasons for his recent success.

“He’s been working really hard,” Iowa head coach JD Reive said. “He’s been focused on his job and what he needs to bring to the team. Putting that in front of his personal aspirations is what has been getting him that individual recognition. If guys are able to surrender for the better of the team score, they end up doing really well for themselves.”

This week will be the second competition in which the Hawkeyes will compete under the new NCAA scoring format. The new rule states that five gymnasts must compete in each event and that all five scores count toward the team total. For the first half of this season, teams could use six gymnasts in each event and drop the lowest score.

The Hawkeyes’ first competition under the new format was less than stellar — they posted their lowest team total of the season.

“The five up, five count is certainly something that’s been challenging for us,” Reive said. “But it’s been challenging for every team across the country as well. If you look at some of the scores, some people have done the same thing we have. At this point it’s still anybody’s game.”

On Feb. 23, Iowa defeated Nebraska, 427.500-425.400 inside Carver-Hawkeye arena. The Hawkeyes are confident that a similar outcome will occur this weekend.

“I think we’re more prepared this time around,” senior rings specialist Anton Gryshayev said. “Having the last few weeks off really helped us. We’ve focused on some small details and saw some things that we needed to focus on more. We’re definitely ready for them, and I think our score could even be better this time around.”

Reive and the rest of the Hawkeyes are aware of the significance of this week’s matchup. With only two meets remaining in the regular season, the Hawkeyes have to find a way to adjust to the new scoring format if they hope to carry some momentum into the Big Ten championships.

“This weekend is very important for us,” Reive said. “Right now, we’re in that transitioning phase from the regular season to the postseason. I think it will dictate how the rest of the season will go for us.”


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