July 17, 2014
IOWA CITY -- The University of Iowa men's gymnastics team will try to prove themselves as a staple among college gymnastics at the Men's national qualifier in Colorado Springs, Colorado this weekend.
Head coach JD Reive is bringing his most polished all-around gymnasts to the Olympic training center, junior Jack Boyle, redshirt senior Lance Alberhasky, redshirt junior Cyrus Dobre-Mofid and junior Matt Loochtan all made the trip. The Qualifier begins today with two days of training before competition begins on Saturday.
"It's one of those cool experiences to be a part of the group that goes there and competes on the national level and not necessarily just a college gymnast but as a national gymnast. It's a really cool thing for them to do and stay motivated over the summer, which is pretty huge for them," assistant coach Ben Ketelsen said.
The offseason is an undervalued time with some of the biggest competitions taking place. Most gymnasts are sticking around Iowa City for the summer to get in the gym as much as possible for summer events.
"It's summer and this is where we have got to make our biggest push," senior Will Albert said. "It's a different atmosphere in the gym. You can put a lot more detail into practices now and the coaches are willing to push us to our limits."
The Hawkeyes have already had success this summer. Sophomore Corey Paterson traveled to the Canadian National Championships in June and won the high bar becoming the national champion. Reive will be looking for more of the same this weekend.
Last year, the Hawkeyes sent four gymnasts to the Men's Qualifier with Loochtan and recently graduated Matt McGrath qualifying. Sophomore Caleb Fischle-Faulk also competed in last year's event representing his high school in one of the last competitions before attending Iowa.
With a good showing this weekend, one or more Hawkeyes would make the roughly 36 gymnast cut for the P&G Championships. The P&G Championships are renowned as the year's biggest gymnastics event for men and women featuring many Olympic level talents in the junior and senior divisions. The event begins in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on Aug. 21.