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Men's gymnastics loses to Oklahoma, takes down Buckeyes in meet

BY CHARLIE GREEN | FEBRUARY 02, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s gymnastics team on Sunday did what it set its sights on by defeating No. 7 Ohio State in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“There were a lot of ups and downs,” junior Jack Boyle said. “We really struggled on the horse and high bar, but the other four events were awesome.”

Coming into the matchup ranked No. 8, the Hawkeyes edged their conference rival by 428.450 to 422.600. It was a big win for an Iowa team that finished 0.8 of a point behind the Buckeyes on Jan. 17 in the Windy City Invitational.

“It’s huge, and getting a win at home is always really fun,” head coach JD Reive said. “What we were trying to do was get a Big Ten win, which we pulled off tonight.”

No. 1 Oklahoma unsurprisingly beat both teams, finishing with a score of 440.850. Individually, the Sooners had the high scorer on all six events. However, the Hawkeyes did edge them as a team on the still rings, 74.600 to 74.000.

For Oklahoma, it was the third time this season it has scored 440.00 in a meet. Iowa, by contrast, has not yet reached 430.00.

Boyle led the Hawkeyes on the rings for the second week in a row, posting an impressive 15.300 on the event. Senior William Albert and junior Matt Loochtan also scored 15.0 or above for the team.

Vault also continued to be an unlikely strongpoint for the Hawkeyes. Led by freshman Dylan Ellsworth and redshirt junior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid, they put up 72.250 in their second-best event of the meet.

“It’s not a surprise to us, the amount of training and preparation we’ve done has given us the confidence to do what we did today,” Dobre-Mofid said. “And we know we can do better, it’s still early in the season.”

Reive spoke of the ups and downs of the day despite his win over the Buckeyes. The pommel horse remained a one-man show, as junior Doug Sullivan scored a season-high 15.000, but no one else reached the 14-point mark. It was also the only event in which the team did not reach 70.00 points.

The high-bar struggles continued for the gymnasts as well, which was considered by Reive to be an asset coming into the season. Despite a strong routine from Dobre-Mofid, it was a concerning team performance to say the least.

Boyle’s routine earned him a 12.500, while freshman Austin Hodges earned just a 12.450.

Overall, the significance of the meet cannot be understated. The team moved ahead of Ohio State in the Big Ten and one step closer to reaching the podium in the conference finals.

Penn State, Illinois, and Michigan still stand as the top-three Big Ten teams in the rankings.

“Our team had mistakes, which we can fix easily,” Ellsworth said. “Beating Ohio State was definitely a successful thing; they’ve always been a rival, and we finally got ahead of them.”

Follow @CharlsGreen on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa men’s gymnastics team.


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