GymHawks open Big Ten season

Iowa hosts Minnesota in its first conference competition of the season.


Grace Colton

Iowa gymnast Lauren Guerin performs her floor routine, during women's gymnastics vs. SEMO at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, January 11, 2019.

Jess Westendorf, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s gymnastics team is gearing up for a Big Ten rivalry as it prepares to host Minnesota in Carver-Hawkeye on Saturday.

This will be the teams’ first foray in Big Ten competition.

Minnesota (4-2) comes to Carver ranked at No. 25 in the most recent rankings from The GymHawks are coming off a 1-1 weekend that included some intriguing statistics and records.

The team tallied a 194.700 to beat Southeast Missouri State (180.925). It was the GymHawks’ new season-high score. Individually, nine freshmen set career highs.

The GymHawks also competed at New Hampshire and narrowly fell to the Wildcats, 193.950-193.500.

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Though the team did not come out on top, freshmen Bridget Killian and Allie Gilchrist had career-highs on beam (9.825).

Head coach Larissa Libby enters her 15th season as the head coach of the GymHawks, with hopes of leading the team to another NCAA appearance.

Shivansh Ahuja
Iowa head coach Larissa Libby speaks with her team during the Women’s Gymnastics Black and Gold Intrasquad Meet in the Field House on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.

In 2018, Libby and the GymHawks landed their 18th NCAA appearance with a No. 33 national ranking and a successful 13-win season.

Iowa will take the floor with a young squad this season. The GymHawks are ranked No. 24 in the nation on beam in the poll.

Two veteran GymHawks are set to make waves for Iowa this season — senior Nicole Chow and junior Charlotte Sullivan were named to the 2019 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Watch List.

Both have had successful journeys with the GymHawks and will be the ones to watch.

Chow was named to the second team All-Big Ten in the 2018 season while earning four beam titles and one all-around title.

Sullivan competed in the all-around in every meet during the 2018 season and could do the same in 2019. She was named to the All-Championship team at the Big Ten Championships.

With veterans such as Chow and Sullivan to look up to, the younger GymHawks will have good models to look up to.

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