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A gym rat's mentality

BY JACK ROSSI | JANUARY 30, 2014 5:00 AM

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There’s a term for the way Jack Boyle practices — gym rat — and that is not a bad thing. The Naperville, Ill., native has worked hard to become one of the most reliable gymnasts at one of the best gymnastics schools in the country.

In his sophomore year, Boyle has gained head coach JD Reive’s trust and has earned one of the few all-around spots on the roster.

“It’s a great honor,” Boyle said. “I think JD only really puts people in all-around who he really trusts and wants to succeed, so I like that. It’s a goal of mine this year to All-American all-around, so being all-around on the first meet is a good step for that.”

Boyle is not the most naturally gifted gymnast on the roster, but Reive is quick to praise his work ethic and believes that is what separates Boyle from the rest.

“He’s a workhorse,” Reive said. “He puts in everything that you ask him to do, no questions asked, but at the same time, he is intelligent enough to understand the sport and the game that we play as far as the mathematics that go into it.”

“He is probably the most ruthless gymnast I have ever trained with,” sophomore Del Vecchio Orozco said. “He is always here after everyone, and he is always really focused and pushes through anything.”

Boyle is one of the more quiet gymnasts on the team, and while the coaches have big plans for him in the future, they hope that he will be able to become one of the leaders on the team for years to come.

“I expect a huge upside from Jack,” Reive said. “Honestly, he had a great freshman year, and we’ve got a lot of things for him to show this year, but I see nothing but improvement as he matures physically, as he gets a stronger. He’s going to be a great leader in the gym.”

It has not all been smooth sailing for Boyle. While attending Neuqua Valley High School, Boyle suffered a nonunion — a slow-healing fracture —in his elbow. This set him back a year while trying to recover. He believes his greatest accomplishment is coming back from the injury.

“They took a spongy bone from my knee, and they put it in my elbow along with a plate and four screws … that hurt with the recruiting process my junior year because that is the big year for recruiting,” Boyle said.

Coming off an injury and having trouble being recruited by schools, Boyle might not have made it to Iowa had it not been for Reive’s ties to Stanford.

“Jack was from a gym with a kid I recruited out of Stanford, so I knew his coach, and I knew of him,” Reive said. “The recruit was a little bit older than Jack, but his coach reached out to me and said, ‘Check out this kid Jack,’ and he came to Iowa.”

Boyle is the youngest all-around gymnast on the team, and the team is confident that he can excel in that position.

“All-around at this point in time is huge, but there’s not a lot of guys that compete all-around, and you can see in Big Ten and NCAA championships,” Reive said. “All-around is the best kids. There’s no doubt in my mind he can handle six events.”


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