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Iowa men's gymnastics places sixth at Big Ten Championships

BY CHARLIE GREEN | MARCH 30, 2015 5:00 AM

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The Iowa men’s gymnastics team finished sixth out of seven teams at the Big Ten Championships over the weekend, compiling a final score of 427.600.

It was the final meet of the season before the NCAA Championships, which start on April 9 in Norman, Oklahoma.

“I’m disappointed with the results,” head coach JD Reive said in a release. “I wasn’t disappointed with how we performed overall as a team, we just didn’t have enough and got beat tonight.”

No. 2 Penn State, the host of the competition, won the meet 436.700 — narrowly beating No. 5 Illinois’ score of 436.100. Michigan, Minnesota, and Ohio State also finished ahead of the Hawks, while Nebraska ended the meet in seventh.

Coming in ranked No. 7 in the country, the Hawks hoped for a top-five finish, but the No. 9 Buckeyes scored a 429.350, topping Iowa by a little more than 2 points.

The College Gymnastics Association will count the teams’ scores from this weekend twice when seeding for nationals, meaning that the results could have heavy implications.

Iowa’s most favorable seed would be to stay where it currently is at seventh or move up to sixth, which would allow it to avoid No. 1 Oklahoma on the first day of NCAA competition.

The two schools hot on their tail, No. 8 California and Ohio State, both had higher scores than Iowa this weekend.

The top-six teams advance to the second day at nationals, and as of now, the Hawks are facing an uphill battle.

“It was not the team results we wanted,” senior captain Lance Alberhasky said. “We have one more week to give it our all in preparation for NCAAs.”

Iowa’s top performance came on the still rings, n which it scored 73.650, good for third. Junior Matt Loochtan led the way with 15.150, and junior Jack Boyle added a 14.850 routine.

The Hawkeyes finished last on the vault despite a solid score of 71.250. Junior Andrew Botto’s 14.450 was the Hawks’ best.

High bar continued to give the Hawkeyes trouble, being their only event totaling under 70.000 points. Three of the five gymnasts in the lineup posted sub-14.000 scores.

Iowa’s pommel horse lineup posted the second-best score of the meet with 71.050, led by freshman Austin Hodges with a 14.500. Junior Doug Sullivan finished third in individual finals for the event with a 14.800, earning him second-team Big Ten honors.

The event has been Iowa’s lowest-scoring all season, making the impressive showing over the weekend encouraging with the NCAA finals fewer than two weeks away.

“The pommel-horse lineup was excellent and executed their routines,” Alberhasky said.

While the Hawks are disappointed in the results, they left State College, Pennsylvania, feeling good about where they stand heading into their final competition of the year.

“It was not our best meet,” junior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid said. “But although we did not get the results we wanted, we had a lot of positives.

“This was only one more battle until the final one, and the war is not over yet.”

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


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