April 2014

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39 "I just want to keep moving forward with what I've been doing," McGrath said. "The team has been pushing me, I've been pushing them. The number one thing for me right now is getting top three as a team at the Big Ten Championships. If I do my job, and the team does its job, I believe we are very capable of that. "We've been tying records and breaking them. Making the rest of the team want to work up to that level and right now it's paying off. Matt Loochtan broke the floor record I set a couple of years ago and now I'm trying to break that floor record. Having that kind of competition in the lineup makes the team that much better. You can see it this season." McGrath and the Hawkeyes began postseason at the Big Ten Championships in Lincoln, Neb., March 28-29, with the goal of finishing in the top three as a team. The NCAA Championships follow, April 10-12, in Ann Arbor, Mich. "I'm looking forward to taking all my hard work and training and putting it on the floor," McGrath said. "We've been training for these next two meets the entire season. That's the only thing we've been training for. If we go out there and put together all the training, blood, sweat and tears, and things come to fruition it will be awesome." "It's nice for him to get the recognition that I feel he deserves at this point in his career," Reive said. "Heading into postseason, he's in a great spot to finish everything off the way he wants." Leaving His Mark By JIL PRICE R edshirt senior Matt McGrath, an elected captain, has been a leader for the University of Iowa men's gymnastics team in and out of the gym. His attitude in training and his success in competition has helped push the Hawkeyes to the next level. In the past month, McGrath has set a school record on vault (15.350) and tied a school record on floor exercise (15.600), and earned five-of-six event titles. "It's been awesome to watch him this season," UI head coach JD Reive said. "As a fifth-year senior with his backstory, he's come in as a leader, a captain, and the anchor of all three events he's doing. He was up and down a little bit at the end of the season, but he's peaking at the right time. He's been the go-to big scorer at the end of the meets." Following his efforts in the team's win at Nebraska against four ranked opponents, McGrath was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week and College Gymnast Association's Gymnast of the Week for the first time in his career. "It felt really good," McGrath said. "There are a lot of great gymnasts in this country. I just put together two good meets and it worked this time." While McGrath has had his share of accolades in the past few weeks, his motivation is the success of the team as a whole. By performing at a high level, he knows he can push his teammates to be their best.

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