Hawkeyes participate in three weekend meets

Iowa gymnastics competed across the Midwest over the weekend. The women’s team took the floor in Iowa, while the men’s team did so in Columbus, Ohio.


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

Iowa women’s gymnastics opened the weekend Friday night with a 196.425-196.225 win against in-state rival, Iowa State. The Hawkeyes had not beaten the Cyclones since 2017.

The Hawkeyes had strength in numbers on the uneven bars, earning a season-high 49.200 team score.

Texas native Mackenzie Vance took the lead on the balance beam for Iowa, posting a career-best 9.850.

On the floor, senior Clair Kaji showcased her strength, performing a 9.900 routine, a season-high.

“[This afternoon] was pretty awesome. Friday night was magical. Iowa State is so good, and you just don’t win in Hilton [Coliseum] with that crowd and atmosphere,” head coach Larissa Libby said.

Iowa continued their run on bars with multiple 9.8’s Sunday afternoon against West Virginia.

Freshman Ellie Rodgers took the event title with a career-best 9.875.

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Opening up the dual meet on vault, freshman Madelyn Solomon performed a career-best 9.875. In addition, sophomore Alex Greenwald earned her season-best 9.800. The team tallied a season-high on the event with 49.150.

Finishing on floor, Iowa saw a career-highs from sophomores Bridget Killian and Allie Gilchrist with 9.00 and 9.850, respectively. The Hawkeyes compiled a team-high on the mat with a 49.400.

In the final performance of the meet, sophomore Lauren Guerin performed another 9.950 routine on floor, just shy of the perfect 10 she has been looking for all season.

“[Guerin] had been out for the past three weeks, gymnastics-wise,” Libby said. “Her training had been way down, and we just can’t lose her or any of our kids. I sustained her against Iowa State on Friday, but Lauren will get that 10. She has the fire in her.”

In addition to the women’s team, the men’s squad hit the floor over the weekend.

No. 9 Iowa men’s gymnastics extinguished No. 22 Northern Illinois, 402.800-325.850. However, the men could not overcome No. 5 Ohio State’s 407.650 team score.

Sophomore Evan Davis and freshman Reuven Anderson earned bests on rings, scoring 13.650 and 13.450, respectively.

Freshman Carter Tope tallied a career-best on the parallel bars in Iowa’s fifth rotation with an individual 13.600. Senior Mitch Mandozzi and sophomore Drew Helberg both posted career-bests on the high bar at 13.800 and 13.250.

California native Bennet Huang completed a season-best on pommel horse with a 13.650 in Columbus.

In his ninth season with the program, head coach JD Reive knows the amount of training needed to defeat ranked teams.

“It was another consistent meet for us with what we’ve been doing,” Reive said. “We were right on target with our projected score based on training, which is great. You want to do what you train. If we want to beat the teams ranked ahead of us, we have to practice better than they do. This team is very capable.”

The final home meet for the men’s team is March 15 against Michigan. The women’s final competition at Carver-Hawkeye Arena will come on March 13 against Western Michigan.