March 2015

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109 than it will another event. It's an event that guys can just camp out there for hours at a time." Using the same formula they found success with in Sullivan, the team has brought in freshman Elijah Parsells to act as another specialist and learn from Sullivan. "I hope they look up to me in a sense," Sullivan said. "If they are ever nervous or having trouble with something, I want them to know they can come to me for help." e team hopes to pass the torch to Parsells in the future, the coaches want him to learn from Sullivan and they see potential. "I want Elijah to see how much work and discipline it takes to be that good," Reive said. "Parsells is already way ahead of him. He could be a pommel horse champion and he could do it in his sophomore year if he comes in and works as hard as Doug did and keep up with him going into his senior year, but he'll have to beat him too." e team views gymnasts like Sullivan as a blueprint to a successful pommel horse rotation, which has been a recruiting tool. "Everybody knows who the best kids are," Reive said. "If we are going to be competitive, we are going to have to find people like Doug. We don't have a historical background. I have to find these guys and teach them that they can be amazing gymnasts." I n 2012, Doug Sullivan walked onto the University of Iowa men's gymnastics team with a goal of making the squad. ree years later, the junior has worked his way to the top as one of the best gymnasts in the country on pommel horse. Sullivan is ranked fih nationally on pommel horse with a top three score average of 15.033. e pommel horse specialist has also taken home three event titles and has yet to finish outside of the top two in any meet this season. Sullivan also holds the school record at Iowa on the event (15.250). UI head coach JD Reive first saw Sullivan fully focused following the end of last season. "At the end of his sophomore season, he made finals at Big Ten Championships with a pretty good routine," Reive said. "It was enough to motivate him to come back into the gym and he worked tirelessly. He earned the right to compete with some of the highest start values." In an event that has been a problem for many teams in recent years, pommel horse specialists that focus on one event may serve as a remedy. "ere are so many variables in pommel horse," Reive said. "at is why it's the event a team will miss the most and fall off. It takes around five times more effort and time to be good at that event MARCH SCHEDULE March 7 at Minnesota March 15 at Nebraska March 27-28 at Big Ten Championships (University Park, Pa.)

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