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Iowa Men's Gymnastics vs Nebraska and Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena
The University of Iowa men's gymnastics team completed its most successful season in nearly a decade in 2013 with the help of assistant coach Ben Ketelsen. The Hawkeyes finished fifth nationally, marking the program's best finish since 2000, and finished with three All-America honors, the most since 2005. The fifth-place finish marked the third-best of any Big Ten school in 2013.
During the opening day of the NCAA Championships at Rec Hall in University Park, Pa., the Hawkeyes finished third in the second session of the NCAA National Qualifier. Their score of 426.550 earned them a berth in the team finals, marking the first time Iowa qualified for the team finals since 2006. The top three teams from each session (12 teams total) advanced to the team finals.
At the team finals, the Hawkeyes tallied a score of 426.450 to finish fifth in the nation, marking the program's best finish since 2000 when it finished third.
Javier Balboa placed sixth in the all-around (85.650) to earn All-America status. The senior became Iowa's first all-around All-American since Michael Reavis in 2005, and the Hawkeyes' first individual to earn All-America honors since Matt McGrath in 2011 (vault).
Iowa did not stop there. Balboa and fellow senior Anton Gryshayev earned All-America honors on the final day of competition at the NCAA Event Finals. Iowa had three gymnasts qualify for the NCAA Event Finals. Gryshayev, Balboa, and sophomore William Albert competed on the still rings. Gryshayev led the Hawkeyes with his score of 14.925 to place seventh on the event, while Balboa finished one spot behind with a 14.875. Albert rounded out the top-10, scoring 13.125. The top eight gymnasts on each event received All-America honors.
Balboa and Gryshayev earned the Hawkeyes' first All-America honors on rings since Chris Camiscioli in 1998. The last time Iowa had two All-Americans on rings came in 1997 (Camiscioli, Dave Nemovitz). Balboa became the first Hawkeye to earn All-America status in multiple events since Michael Reavis in 2005 (vault, all-around).
Iowa finished the 2013 season with three All-America honors -- marking the first time since 2005 the program has garnered three or more in a single season.
The Hawkeyes captured three-straight Big Ten dual victories against top-10 opponents in February -- defending national champion Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska.
In addition, Balboa, the Big Ten still rings champion, and Broderick Shemansky, both earned All-Big Ten honors. Three Hawkeyes -- Balboa, McGrath, Todd Becker -- earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades. Balboa was honored by the Big Ten Conference with the Distinguished Scholar Award.
Ketelsen, who hails from Lancaster, Ohio, has been a member of the Iowa men's gymnastics program for the last six years. He competed at Iowa from 2007-11 before serving as a volunteer assistant coach in 2012.
Ketelsen was a four-year letterwinner for the Hawkeyes and served as team captain in 2010 and 2011. He was a Big Ten event finalist and an NCAA qualifier.
Ketelsen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa in 2011.