Men's gymnastics looks to improve in offseason

BY JACK ROSSI | APRIL 15, 2014 5:00 AM

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The gymnastics season has come to a close. After four months of competition, the Iowa men’s gymnastics team fell short of its expectations, and now, the team looks toward the off-season.

This will be the team’s second off-season under head coach J.D. Reive where the team will compete in numerous off-season activities and competitions. Reive likes to keep the gymnasts active during the off-season, and it has paid off. The Hawks’ high score jumped 11 points in just one season from 426 in 2013 to 437 this season.

They want to do the same thing over the next year.

“We’ve got a fantastic group of guys who are staying and training, and we’ve got the entire signed freshman class coming in early to begin classes and train with us because they want to,” Reive said.

With a gym about to be full of eager gymnasts, he has everything planned to the last detail, noting that this is the time to learn and improve the most.

“We’ve got a super clear path ahead of us of exactly what needs to be done, whether it’s the individual kid or the event total and the skills that need to be learned,” he said. “We know what we need to acquire, what we need to master, where we need to put in our time, and on top of that, we have a bunch of guys who are competing in off-season competitions.”

Freshman Cory Paterson is one of those gymnasts who will compete this summer.

Paterson competed in the 2013 Pacific Rim and the 2013 University Games before coming to the Iowa program. He is also a nine-year member of the Canadian National team. This summer, Paterson plans to stay at Iowa to continue to improve by using the off-season to its fullest.

“At the end of May I am competing in the Canadian National Championships — other than that, I will compete in any other international assignments I am given,” Paterson said. “But my main focus right now is for next season and to get my difficulty and skills up, because last year I didn’t really have a summer to train because I was in Russia competing.”

Other gymnasts will also compete in such events as the Commonwealth Games, U.S. Qualifiers at the Olympic training center, and the P&G Championships. These are premium events with talented gymnasts from around the world competing in them.

Redshirt junior Lance Alberhasky, who is entering his last off-season with the program, noted that Reive has picked up the intensity in the gym.

“This year, [Reive] added more numbers, and we pushed ourselves more,” Alberhasky said. “A couple of us are doing the U.S. Qualifiers, and that competition qualifies us for the P&G Championships in August. That’s the plan for a lot of us. We also have some international guys doing the Commonwealth Games, too. It’s going to be a pretty busy summer, but we’re looking forward to it.”

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