Iowa gymnastics notebook: No. 20 Hawkeyes prepare for rivalry meet against Iowa State

The GymHawks will take on Iowa State in Iowa City on March 4 after placing second at the Big Five meet in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Feb. 24. At the Big Five, Iowa posted a season-high team score of 196.925.


Lillie Hawker

Iowa gymnast Allison Zuhlke does a back handspring while competng on the beam during a gymnastics meet between Iowa and Minnesota in Iowa City on Friday, Jan. 27, 2023. The Hawkeyes and the Gophers tied with each getting a score 196.875.

Emma Sachs, Sports Reporter

The No. 20 Iowa gymnastics team is set to take on rival No. 39 Iowa State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Mar. 4.

The Hawkeyes’  dual against the Cyclones will be their last appearance in Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the 2023 season. Iowa is set to host the Big Ten Championships at Xtream Arena in Coralville on March 18.

Against Iowa State, the Hawkeyes will honor seniors JerQuavia Henderson, Linda Zivat, and Ellie Rodgers.

Last year, the Hawkeys defeated the Cyclones, 196.825-196.500, in Ames. Iowa State has competed in 13 duals this year compared to Iowa’s five and holds a record of 8-5, while the Hawkeyes stand at 3-1-1.

The Cyclones are averaging 195.620 points per dual this year, trailing the Hawkeyes’ 196.610 per competition by almost an entire point.

RELATED: No. 18 Iowa women’s gymnastics continues win streak against Rutgers

Big results at Big Five

The GymHawks placed second at the Big Five Meet in Lincoln, Nebraska, their last time out on Feb. 24, setting a new season-high team score of 196.925. The Hawkeyes competed against four Big Ten teams —  No. 24 Illinois, No. 25 Maryland, No. 3 Michigan, and No. 32 Penn State. The Wolverines took the title, posting a 197.1

Iowa head coach Larissa Libby commended her team on accomplishing their goal of being at their best, no matter the competition.

“We almost beat Michigan this weekend,” Libby said. “We did not go there to win that meet. We went there for a specific purpose that we identified ourselves. And so we won, we already won.”

Six Hawkeyes scored a 9.9 or above, with four setting new career highs.

Iowa started on the floor where freshman Bailey Libby — Larissa’s daughter — scored a 9.875 to set a career-best. Bailey Libby expressed her eagerness to keep improving her routine.

“Scoring a 9.9, it hasn’t happened yet, but it will happen,” Bailey Libby said.

During Iowa’s second rotation, junior Allison Zuhlke stuck her unique vault to earn herself a career-high score of 9.9.

Zuhlke competes a vault with an atypical entry. Instead of entering the table backward, she completes a front handspring onto the springboard and transitions into a tucked Tsukahara with a full twist off the table.

“It’s interesting to see how it gets scored every meet because the judges don’t see it as often as Yurchenkos,” Zuhlke said. “It’s kind of like a surprise to see what they’re going to score it as.”