Iowa women’s gymnastics ties with Minnesota in first home meet

The Hawkeyes and Gophers both finished the night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena with 196.875 points.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa’s JerQuavia Henderson performs her floor routine during a gymnastics meet between Iowa and Texas Women’s University at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022. Henderson took first place for her floor routine with 9.900 points. The Hawkeyes defeated the Pioneers, 196.125-189.300.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter

Iowa women’s gymnastics tied with Minnesota at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, as the two squads posted identical 196.875 scores.

The GymHawks’ score of 196.875 was good enough for seventh all-time in program history. Iowa is now 0-1-1 in Big Ten play, with a loss to Ohio State last week.

The Hawkeyes hosted their first competition of the season on Friday night. Iowa had three straight competitions on the road before coming to Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“It is so wonderful just even walking out here and seeing the fans in the stands,” Iowa head coach Larissa Libby said. “It has been hard for a young team. It is definitely a full energizer. When we came out, we were a completely different team.”

The GymHawks started the evening with a season-high 49.375 on vault in the first rotation, leading the Gophers by 0.2 points. Senior Linda Zivat and junior Allison Zuhlke led Iowa with a 9.975 and a 9.875, respectively. 

Juniors Adeline Kenlin and Kareena Mcsweeny led the GymHawks in bars with 9.875 and 9.800 scores, respectively, in the second rotation. Freshman Karina Muñoz also chipped in with a 9.800. 

After the third rotation, in which the GymHawks performed on beam, Iowa was down by 0.2 points. While junior Aubrey Nick and Kenlin posted 9.875 and 9.900 scores, respectively, the Gophers’ third-rotation floor routine score of 49.375 gave Minnesota the lead. 

“I know Minnesota, and that team is incredible,” Libby said. “They always come back at the end to get up every time. We have a lot of young new people in the lineup.”

Iowa relied heavily on upperclassmen leaders to finish the job on floor. Kenlin and two-time  All-American senior JerQuavia Henderson notched a 9.925 and 9.975, respectively, to put the GymHawks back in the competition. 

“You can’t say enough about Adeline Kenlin and JerQuavia Henderson at the end anchoring,” Libby said. “It’s like they looked at the younger ones and said, ‘This is how it’s done.’ They have been trying to step into this leadership role and I am hard on them. They did an excellent job.”

Kenlin placed in the top three in bars, floor, and beam. No Hawkeye competed in all four events.

Big Picture

Iowa’s talented underclassmen showed up on Friday night. Even with struggles throughout the evening, including a fall on beam from Muñoz, they shook it off and performed when needed. 

“This team is so good, they don’t even know how good they are,” Libby said. “They made young mistakes here. First time in front of the home crowd. We have created our own hype all season on the road. All the mistakes they made were underdone and not overdone.”

Up Next

Iowa will be back on the road on Feb. 6 to take on Nebraska in Lincoln at 8 p.m.