GymHawks disappoint at Big Five meet

The Iowa women’s gymnastics team finished fourth out of five teams at the conference event.


Hannah Kinson

Iowa’s all-around Erin Castle performs on the beam during a gymnastics meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Michigan State on Feb. 1.

Cassandra Buchholz, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s gymnastics team finished competition at the Big Ten’s annual Big Five Meet in Toledo on Feb. 21, finishing in fourth place out of five — just above Rutgers at 195.725.

The Hawkeyes competed against Illinois, Ohio State, Rutgers, and Nebraska, with the Cornhuskers taking the win in five-team match.

Michigan took the entire two-day event on Feb. 21, completing a team total of 197.950 and clinching the regular season Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Title with a 9-0 conference record. The Wolverines gained the first seed in the Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships on March 21.

The Hawkeyes saw a very complete performance by junior Erin Castle, who finished seventh in her first career all-around (39.100) and opened up competition with her season-debut on vault with 9.675. The Iowa native placed as the top Hawkeye in bars — the most testing event this season for Iowa — and tied for eighth in the event with a carded 9.825.

Castle also showed promise on beam, tying for 12th overall (9.775) with Illinois’ Karen Howell and Kylie Noonan, Ohio State’s Zoe Schweitzer, Nebraska’s Adnerys De Jesus, and fellow Hawkeye teammate Mackenzie Vance on the event.

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Sophomore Bridget Killian recorded her career-best on vault early in the meet, tallying a 9.875 for Iowa, tying at fifth place overall, and bringing the team total on the event to 48.975.

The Hawkeyes saw encouragement on the balance beam in Toledo. The team recorded a total of 48.800 — just below last week’s 48.925 against Michigan – with Killian leading the GymHawks in the additional event with an individual 9.800.

Iowa finished the night on floor and earned its highest team total with a combined 49.275. Senior Clair Kaji and sophomore Lauren Guerin both tied for fourth (9.875) with their routines in the contest. This as a shortcoming for Guerin, who holds the third all-time record for the Hawkeyes on floor with a 9.950 performance against Penn State on Jan. 25.

After a weekend off, Iowa is back to regular dual-meet action in the Cy-Hawk series against Iowa State at 6:30 p.m. March 6 in Ames.