March 2014

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52 e return of McGrath to the lineup for floor, rings, vault, and parallel bars will strengthen a Hawkeye team that includes twice as many fresh- men and sophomores as it does upperclassmen. "He brings a lot of experience," Reive said. "He is aggressive, has this warrior work ethic, has a lot of big gymnastics — it's very dynamic, it's fun to watch. At the same time he has a leadership capac- ity to him that will take the underclassmen and give us that extra edge that we need to be where we want to be this year." Where the Hawkeyes want to be is at least two positions higher than they were in 2013. ey will rely on guidance from captains McGrath and Lance Alberhasky to get there. "Last year our goal was just to make it into the second day at NCAAs," McGrath said. "Once they got to the second day of the competition, it was like a weight was lied off their shoulders. ey did it and hadn't planned on advancing too much further because the teams we were competing with were really good. "Now once we get into that second day, hopefully we'll have an even bigger job to do once we get there. at's what we'll be training for all season: being mentally focused and physically strong enough to be ready to take on two days of intense competition." An academic All-Big Ten honoree, McGrath is ma- joring in biomedical engineering. "You decide that I'm an athlete, and I'm a student- athlete," McGrath said. "ose are the two most important things we are here to do at school, so those are the main things I focus on." e Hawkeyes defeated the University of Illinois at Chicago on Feb. 23; they will compete in the Arnold Classic on March 1 in Columbus, Ohio.

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