GymHawks give preview of 2019 season at Black and Gold Intrasquad

The women's gymnastics team competed in its annual Black and Gold Intrasquad meet on Saturday, showcasing the 2019 season. 


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa's Lauren Guerin performs on the vault during the Women's Gymnastics Black and Gold Intrasquad Meet in the Field House on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Jess Westendorf, Sports Reporter

It is that time of the year again. The Iowa women’s gymnastics team suited up and gave fans a preview of what to expect this upcoming season Dec. 1 at the Black and Gold Intrasquad meet.

The Gold team came out on top with a score of three events to one.

The team was divided, with half representing the Black squad and the other half representing the Gold.

Iowa had some fun with the intrasquad this year; it brought in celebrity judges to score the event. The judges included Iowa head soccer coach Dave DiIanni and star women’s gymnastics alum Nikki Youd.

Youd graduated in May after having an incredible career with the program.

The annual event has a lot of meaning in the eyes of head coach Larissa Libby. Both squads competed as if the event were an in-season meet, and Libby believes this is one of the best ways to get the gymnasts ready for the season.

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“For us, this serves multiple purposes,” she said. “One of the purposes is to get the young women out in front of a crowd, and the other is looking at the lineup and making sure everybody is in the right spot.”

Looking at the roster this year, Iowa has young GymHawks who are expected to see action.

The roster has five seniors, three juniors, four sophomores, and seven freshmen, so it is not a surprise that seven GymHawks made college débuts in the meet: Allie Glichrist, Alexandra Greenwald, Lauren Guerin, Bridget Killian, Jax Kranitz, Carina Tolan, and Mackenzie Vance.

Though the team may be young, the GymHawks fully expect to build a solid foundation as well as to increase the team’s depth.

Overall, the Hawkeyes are determined to be the best they can be, young or not. The focus has shifted to looking at the individuals and how to get better.

“We tend to define success on our own level and in our own ways,” Libby said.

The intrasquad brings the group one step closer to the 2019 season, and the goals are big for Iowa.

The GymHawks feel as though they have to prove themselves in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes have made appearances in the Big Ten Championships in the past three seasons, and the Hawkeyes are aware that the conference is a tough one this year.

The Big Ten Championships are at the center for Libby.

“My focus is always on the Big Ten Championships,” she said. “I feel like we have to prove ourselves in the conference, and our conference is tough.”

The GymHawks will now prepare for their first regular-season meet, against Auburn on Jan. 4 in Alabama.

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