April 14, 2009
THIS WEEK -- The University of Iowa men's gymnastics team will travel to Minneapolis, MN this week to compete in the 2009 NCAA Championships. Competition for team and all-around event in the qualifying round will begin April 16 at 1 p.m. in the Sports Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus. The top three teams from each session will move on to team and all-around finals Friday. Individual event finals will be Saturday.
THE COMPETING TEAMS -- The competing teams include Iowa, Stanford, Oklahoma, Illinois, Michigan, California, Ohio State, Minnesota, Penn State, Nebraska, Navy, and Illinois-Chicago.
LAST TIME OUT -- Iowa placed sixth in the Big Ten Championships (337.75). Geoff Reins earned a first place on vault (16.25) and a sixth place on floor exercise (15.15) to launch himself to the Big Ten individual event finals. Reins went on to place third on floor (14.925) and first on vault (16.125) to win the Big Ten vault title.
LAST YEAR AT NCAAS -- The Hawkeyes placed fifth in the second session with a final score of 339.85. Graduate Curtis Kleffman competed in the all-around competition after placing sixth overall in the all-around competition of session two with an 83.50. Ben Ketelsen competed on floor exercise after tying for ninth with a 14.95 and graduate Jacob Becker competed on pommel horse after a score of 14.35 for a ninth place tie. Diego Mercado-Austin represented Iowa on rings after a 14.55 final score for a 17th place finish.
THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS -- Last year, Penn State earned their second conference title with a final score of 360.45. Illinois came in at a close second with a 357.30, followed by Ohio State (354.35), Michigan (353.00), Minnesota (351.45) and Iowa (344.50).
IOWA'S RECORD -- Iowa had a 4-10 regular season record this year after the regular season. The Hawkeyes are currently ranked No. 11 in the latest GymInfo poll released Monday (April 7).
HEAD COACH Tom Dunn -- In his 30th year at Iowa, Head Coach Tom Dunn, has recorded a 213-113-2 record at Iowa. In 1998 and 2006, Dunn was named Big Ten Coach of the Year and College Gymnastics Association Central Region Coach of the Year. He has led the Hawkeyes to 17 top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships. Iowa has competed at the NCAA meet 17 of the past 22 seasons. Dunn has also coached 32 individuals to 64 all-America honors and 20 gymnasts to 32 Big Ten titles.
QUOTING COACH DUNN -- "It was a struggle to get ourselves into the qualifying round of the NCAA Championships this year, but we look forward to the opportunity to take the next step. We continue to improve, getting healthier and stronger as we go. Our goal has always been to be at our best in our final appearance. For some it may be Thursday, but our plan is to have some Hawkeyes still competing on Saturday."