Men's gymnastics dominates UIC in home opener


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In its home-opener, Iowa men’s gymnastics dismantled an underwhelming Illinois-Chicago squad by a final score of 428.600- 398.600.

“Early in the season, nerves, a little bit of confidence issues, and performance anxieties present themselves,” head coach JD Reive said. “They did a much better job of handling it this weekend.”

Iowa scored nearly 15 more points as a team than they did on Jan. 17 at the Windy City Invitational, a sign that the gymnasts may have momentum going into next weekend’s meet against the highly ranked teams of Oklahoma and Ohio State.

The Hawkeyes scored more than 70 points in all but one event — compiling 68.95 on the pommel horse. Junior Doug Sullivan did, however, score an event-high 14.950, leading Iowa for the second meet in a row.

“I saw a lot of improvement out there,” Sullivan said. “We were able to get on a good pace and just keep on rolling.”

On the floor exercise, sophomores Andrew Botto and David Spanier fell to get the Hawkeyes off to a slow start. They recovered, with juniors Cyrus Dobre-Mofid and Jack Boyle and senior Brandon Field scoring 14.500 or above to close the event.

On the still rings, the Hawkeyes scored their highest point total in any event with 73.700. In what looks like their strongest event, Boyle scored a meet-high 15.400 and senior Lance Alberhasky added a 14.800.

The team also put forth an encouraging performance on the vault, compiling 72.800 points — their highest event output next to the rings.

On the parallel bars, the team’s lineup put together a consistent effort in a typically low-scoring event. Junior Matt Loochtan led the way with a score of 14.600.

Iowa ended the night on the high bar, where mistakes by Boyle and Paterson were not enough to squander their huge lead. Alberhasky posted a 14.400 for the team’s top point output on the event.

“High bar was weak, ‘P’ bars was almost really good,” Reive said. “We’re getting better and starting to get a rhythm with it. We just need to stay on pace and keep disciplined in practice every day.”

Reive believes the parallel bars are a potential strongpoint for his team. Although he acknowledged that it is the event with the most room for error, he believes they can clean up some smaller details through practice.

The night’s all-around points leader was Illinois-Chicago’s Jason Gaides with 84.100. The senior, however, competed in all six events for the Flames; no Hawkeye competed in more than five.

Overall, Iowa put on a promising display for the fans in Carver-Hawkeye. Now, the team turns its focus to a giant matchup next weekend, when No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 9 Ohio State travel to Iowa City.

“As long as what we do what we did today and just clean of the little details, we should have no problem,” Loochtan said.

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