Iowa gymnastics continues Big Ten schedule at Nebraska, Penn State

The men open up conference competition against the Cornhuskers, while the women travel east to take on Penn State over the weekend.


Emily Wangen

Iowa gymnast Lauren Guerin performs her floor routine during the Gymhawks’ home opener on Jan. 11 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Cassandra Buchholz, Sports Reporter

Big Ten competition is about to commence as the Iowa men’s and women’s gymnastics teams continue into the third week of the season.

The men head to Nebraska this weekend to compete against the Cornhuskers in their Big Ten début.

Nebraska, who is currently 3-1, lost to the Hawkeyes last season, 403.5-406.7. The Hawkeyes earned a fourth-place finish last week in their first competition of the season at the Windy City Invitational, hosted by UIC.

Carter Tope and Bennet Huang competed in the all-around at the event. Tope, an Iowa native, scored a 75.550. Huang earned an all-around score of 80.400.

Freshman Amari Sewell and Reuven Anderson also made their débuts for the Hawkeyes. Sewell scored 11.100 on pommel horse, and Anderson scored 12.950 on the rings.

The No. 3 men’s Cornhuskers opened its season at the Rocky Mountain Open where the team placed second with a score of 403.550. Nebraska boasts a top-ranked mark in the pommel horse (67.650). The team is second in the nation on the floor (70.000) and on the parallel bars.

The Iowa women’s team is back on the road as they started their Big Ten season with a tough loss to Maryland last Sunday, 195.6-196.1. The GymHawks travel to State College, Pennsylvania, to take on the 1-4 Nittany Lions of Penn State. The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 35 overall, 14th on bars, 36th on vault, 42nd on beam, and 46th on floor.

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The Nittany Lions earned a 195.750 in their home opener against West Virginia on Jan. 11.

Penn State set season-high team scores on vault (48.825) and floor (48.775), while junior Lauren Bridgens secured a career-high 9.925 mark on the floor. She won the event title against Nebraska Jan. 16.

The Hawkeyes have so far racked up a third-place finish at the Critique Classic in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 3 and a first-place finish in their home début against Air Force and Ball State on Jan. 11.

In Florida, Lauren Guerin earned a perfect 9.950 from one judge and a final score of 9.925 to set her new career best. The mark tied for the ninth spot in Iowa’s history.

Sophomore Alex Greenwood earned a career-high 9.875 on bars Jan. 11 against Air Force and Ball State.

Against Maryland on Jan. 19, the GymHawks set a season-high 49.200 on floor. Guerin led the Hawkeyes with a 9.950 to win the event and set a new career-best score. That mark was good for third all-time in Iowa’s history.

Allyson Steffensmeier also entered the Hawkeye record book against Maryland. She recorded a 9.925 on the bars, tying for sixth place all time in Iowa’s history.

The GymHawks will look to continue to set high marks throughout the regular season to try and match where the team ended up in the conference standings last year. The Iowa women finished sixth in the Big Ten Championships last season with a team score of 196.075.

The Hawkeyes are back home in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 1 when the men host Minnesota at 1 p.m., followed by the women hosting Michigan State at 7 p.m.