GymHawks make NCAA cut, head to Minnesota


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Katin

Iowa’s Maddie Kampshroeder performs on the uneven bars during the Iowa/Southeast Missouri State gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Mar. 02, 2018. Kampshroeder scored a 9.775. The GymHawks defeated the Redhawks, 195.550-192.750. (Katina Zentz/ The Daily Iowan)

The Iowa women’s gymnastics team will head to the Minneapolis Regional for the beginning of the NCAA Championships on April 7.

“We’re so excited to be going to Minnesota,” senior Lanie Snyder said. “It’s a close drive, so a lot of our alums are going to come and support us, so we’re really excited about that.”

The GymHawks are the sixth seed in their regional, which features No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 13 Denver, Minnesota, and Iowa State.

Oklahoma, the only team that Iowa hasn’t seen in the past, has won the championship the past two years.

Other Big Ten squads making the cut are Ohio State, Illinois, No. 7 Michigan, Maryland, and Penn State.

“I don’t really care who’s there,” head coach Larissa Libby said. “I’m not focused on them, because really, there’s no defense, so it’s not like we could prepare for them. I’m just not concerned about that because anything can happen.”

However, having both Big Ten rival Minnesota and in-state rival Iowa State in the same region brings a fun, competitive edge to the already big stage.

The GymHawks lost to the Cyclones in both meetings this season, but at the Big Tens, they finished ahead of the Gophers, 196.400-196.225.

“It’ll be fun and interesting to see them again this season,” Snyder said.

The Big Ten Championships was one of Iowa’s best meets of the season.

Being the “sleeper team,” as Libby calls her squad, brings no pressure to prove anything at NCAAs. They were overlooked at Big Tens, and just making the cut for the NCAA Championships is impressive.

“Everyone counted us out,” Libby said. “They didn’t follow us in the broadcast, and whoops, probably a big mistake not to do that.”

Going into the NCAA Championships, there are certain things that Iowa will be working on to prepare.

To compete with the competition, the GymHawks will have to perfect their routines.

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