Men's gymnastics defeat Minnesota, Nebraska on senior night


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No. 9 Iowa men’s gymnastics needed a season-high 435.400 to top No.10 Minnesota, and No. 11 Nebraska in Iowa City on Feb. 14.

Minnesota led for much of the night and despite turning in a season-high score of 433.600, the Hawkeyes were just a little better in the end.

“It’s super special, one I’ll always remember for sure,” Alberhasky said. “Throughout the season, we’ve had trouble finishing, but we kept the energy up the whole meet, until the last person went.”

It was easily the best meet of the season for Iowa, as seniors Alberhasky, William Albert, and Brandon Field put in their last performance in Carver-Hawkeye.

“Great storybook ending,” head coach JD Reive said. “We really didn’t know who was going to win this meet until we finished it, and that’s exactly how you want it. This will be a wonderful memory that they will carry forever.”

Field scored a season-high on the floor exercise and led the Hawks with a 14.800, and Alberhasky added a career-high 14.650. As a team, the Hawks finished with 73.500, their highest output on the season.

On the vault, Albert scored a team-high 14.700, and Field added a 14.500. And on the rings, Albert posted a 14.600 while junior Jack Boyle led all gymnasts with a 15.2.

A strong performance on the pommel horse, led by junior Doug Sullivan’s 15.150, kept the Hawkeyes on pace to break 430.000 for the first time this season.

And yet, after four stellar rotations, the Hawkeyes still trailed Minnesota, 291.900-290.650. To close the gap, they need top execution on the parallel bars and high bar — which is exactly what they got.

Career highs from junior Matt Loochtan (14.800), freshman Dylan Ellsworth (14.500), and sophomore Cory Paterson (14.400), along with a 14.800 from Boyle helped the team take the lead heading into the final rotation. The event total of 72.800 was also a season high.

They held the lead on the high bar, where they posted yet another season-high with a 72.800. Cory Paterson scored a meet-high 14.900 on the event.

“We knew it was going to come down to the very last set,” Field said. “We’ve struggle on ‘P’ bars and high bar, I think the biggest goal was to keep within our group and do our jobs on those two events.”

The performance will be followed by a two-week break for the Hawks, during which they will focus on the mistakes that kept their season-high score from being even higher.

Although team saw promising improvement on the pommel horse, sophomore David Spanier and junior Emmanuel Monroy each scored a lowly 13.150.

Despite success on the high bar, junior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid struggled, scoring just a 13.000. And even an impressive vault lineup saw mistakes from Dobre-Mofid and Loochtan.

Even with all the positives, there were plenty of negatives to take away in the comeback victory.

“They have to see why we did well tonight; obviously, it’s the way we trained and came back in after last weekend’s competition,” Reive said. “And they also need to see that there’s a significant amount of improvement that needs to be made.”

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

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