Iowa women’s gymnastics finishes season in NCAA Sweet 16, Adeline Kenlin advances to championships

The GymHawks finished fourth in a four-team field on Saturday afternoon.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa’s Adeline Kenlin competes on beam during a gymnastics meet between No. 18 Iowa and Eastern Michigan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022. Kenlin was named Big Ten freshman of the year last season. The Hawkeyes defeated the Eagles 195.950-194.100.

Grant Hall, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s gymnastics team’s season ended in the NCAA Sweet 16 on Saturday afternoon.

Iowa placed fourth in a field containing Michigan, Missouri, and UCLA. The top two finishers, Michigan and Missouri, moved on to the NCAA Championships.

Despite the loss, the GymHawks went out with a season-high score of 197.075 — the second-best in Iowa program history.

Sophomore Adeline Kenlin placed second on beam at the regional final with a score of 9.950, advancing individually to the NCAA Championships.

“I am thrilled for Adeline, that she is moving on and that the Hawkeyes are still represented at the National Championships,” head coach Larissa Libby said in a Saturday release. “That was the goal, and this is the start.”

Kenlin, who hails from Iowa City, will be the first GymHawk to compete at the NCAA Championships since Clair Kaji in 2017. Kaji, a senior on this year’s squad, also competed on beam at the 2017 meet.

The regional finals served as the final meet for Iowa’s 2022 seniors.

“At the end of the day, I have been dreading this moment since the end of the seniors’ freshman year,” Libby said via release. “How it would end, and how awful it would feel, losing these kids. I am sad that the seven seniors are finished, but I don’t feel sad. I feel complete. I feel we did everything we could and put it all out there.”

Big picture

Although the GymHawks’ season ended in the Sweet 16, Libby said her program’s success in 2021-22 will have an impact on future GymHawks.

“[We] sent the message that we should not be overlooked,” Libby said in a release. “I am very proud of this team and am excited for the seniors that they were able to finish this way.”

Up next

Kenlin, the sole remaining competitor, will compete at the NCAA Championships from April 14-16 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.

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