Men's gymnastics falls to No. 2 Penn State


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A season-best effort from the No. 6 Iowa men’s gymnastics team fell short of upsetting No. 2 Penn State on Feb. 27, and the Hawks fell, 440.800- 435.750.

Despite the loss, head coach JD Reive is encouraged by his team’s performance.

“We did our job tonight,” Reive said in a release. “The big thing was that it was our first five-up-five-count meet. It just shows that every team makes mistakes, and we can keep up with anybody. We had our shots tonight and didn’t capitalize, but overall, it was a great meet for us.”

Previously, the Hawks had competed in six-up-five-count scenarios, meaning that the lowest score in a lineup would be dropped. For the Big Ten and NCAA championships, teams will not have the luxury of what is essentially an insurance policy for an uncharacteristic low score.

The strong performance indicates the team is in good shape entering the twilight of the 2015 regular season.

Junior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid came in first place on the parallel bars, posting a career high 15.250 in the final rotation of the meet.

“It was time to end the meet with a great routine,” Dobre-Mofid said. “I put all my strength and focus into doing that to contribute to our season-high team score.”

Freshman Alexis Torres scored a meet-high 16.000 on the still rings for Penn State, and the Nittany Lions outscored the Hawks 75.200-74.350 on the event. Senior William Albert and junior Andrew Botto paced the Hawks, each adding 15.000 routines.

On the floor exercise, the Hawkeyes were outscored 75.500-73.350 despite their second-best performance of the year. Junior Matt Loochtan scored a 15.350, and junior Jack Boyle added a 15.000 — both season highs. Redshirt senior Lance Alberhasky also added a season best, scoring 14.750.

Loochtan tied for the top vault score with Penn State’s Quest Hayden at 14.950, while Botto added a 14.750.

Junior Doug Sullivan continued his stellar campaign as one of the country’s top pommel-horse specialists, scoring 14.850 for the Hawks. Freshman Elijah Parsells tied a career-high with a 14.750, and fellow freshman Austin Hodges contributed a 14.400.

Penn State outscored the Hawkeyes on every event except for the high bar, on which Iowa posted a season-high 71.850 in an area in which it has seen its share of struggle. Boyle led all scorers with a 14.900 routine, while sophomore Cory Paterson came in second with a 14.700.

The sixth-ranked Hawkeyes scored in the mid-430s for the second meet in a row, something they had previously failed to do all season. In addition, they did so with five-up-five-count scoring, on the road, and against the nation’s second best team.

All things considered, things are moving in the right direction for Iowa men’s gymnastics.

“Considering the travel situations, we had a great meet,” Alberhasky said. “On a neutral site, we are right there with Penn State. In two weeks, when we compete in Nebraska, they will be there, and it’ll be a great competition.”

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

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