February 2013

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Poised to Take the Next Step T By Patrick Sojka he 2013 University of Iowa men's gymnastics season is upon us, and the Hawkeyes are poised to take the next step. A much-improved and deeper UI squad has everyone excited about the upcoming campaign. "There is not this huge expectation based on where we are ranked, but this team has made tremendous strides under my leadership and this new assistant coaching staff," said UI head coach JD Reive. "They have really improved. "Now, none of that means anything until we go out and put it on the competition floor. You can be the greatest athlete in the gym, but if you cannot go out and compete and show it off in front of a judge, it is irrelevant. It doesn't exist." Reive is in his third season at the helm of the program. In his first season, the Hawkeyes broke four team records and five individual records. The Hawkeyes broke the total team-score record with a 351.800 on March 24, 2011. Six gymnasts punched their tickets to compete individually at the NCAA Championships. Reive coached his first Hawkeye to All-American honors with Matt McGrath. In 2012, Reive guided three Hawkeyes (Javier Balboa, Broderick Shemansky, Anton Gryshayev) to the NCAA Championships in Norman, Okla. He coached junior Broderick Shemansky to first-team All-Big Ten honors. Gryshayev also earned Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honors (March 26), becoming the first Hawkeye to garner the weekly award since 2009. Iowa broke four more individual school records. This year, he welcomes back 13 returning letterwinners along with the emergence of a deep, eight-athlete freshmen class. The talent is there. Now, it is time to showcase it and the hard work that accompanies it. 19 JD Reive, the seventh head coach in program history, enters his third season in 2013. "The opportunity for us early on is to make a point; this is where we are," said Reive. "I would like to see us be in the middle of the pack within the Big Ten. That is totally within our wheelhouse at this point. "The challenge is going to be treading new ground. This is a brand new thing for them; to go out and perform well and hit routines and show what we are able to do. They need to step up and become leaders in that aspect." For Reive, it is all finally starting to come together in Iowa City. "It takes a couple of years to lay the foundation and get the recruiting process going," said Reive. "This is the most comfortable I have been in terms of philosophy and everybody being on the same page: staff, studentathletes, seniors, freshman, all the way through the ranks. "We are all together and more cohesive right now as we have ever been."

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