No. 20 Iowa women’s gymnastics defeats No. 39 Iowa State in Cy-Hawk series

The Hawkeyes topped the Cyclones, 195.275-194.200, on Saturday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.


Ayrton Breckenridge

Iowa’s Linda Zivat competes on floor during a gymnastics meet between No. 18 Iowa and Rutgers at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023. Zivat tied for third in the event with a score of 9.850. The Hawkeyes defeated the Scarlet Knights 196.200-195.125.

Emma Sachs, Sports Reporter

The No. 20 Iowa women’s gymnastics team defeated No.39 Iowa State on Saturday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, 195.275-194.200. A record-breaking 3,715 fans attended to honor the seniors and raise awareness for cancer.

Attendance record

Iowa head coach Larissa Libby praised the Hawkeye community for showing out against in-state rivals.

“It says a lot about the personality of this team. It says a lot about gymnastics in general,” Libby said. “But also it says a lot about women’s sports.”

Libby also mentioned how impactful it is to have such a young crowd that gets so excited to watch the GymHawks.

“When I look in the stands and I see all these little girls with signs and so fired up about gymnastics, it really is such a great feeling because I think they’re learning that it’s not just a pretty sport,” Libby said. “It drives us to be better.”

GymHawks make a comeback

The Hawkeyes started off strong on vault and bars against the Cyclones, leading, 98.125-97.250, after the first two rotations. 

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

But the Cyclones took the lead after the third rotation, with the Hawkeyes counting two falls on beam. 

After the struggles on beam, Libby encouraged her team to let go of its mistakes and get mentally prepared for floor.

“You have to learn to let those things go,” Libby said. “These are things that happen to teams all the time. What will decide whether you’re a good team or an okay team is how you respond to it.”

Going into the final event, Iowa State was up, 146.225-145.975. The Hawkeyes fought until the end to come up with the win with a score of 195.275, and counted five scores over 9.8.

After the meet, seniors Ellie Rogers, Linda Zivat, and JerQuavia Henderson were honored. 

Henderson, who debuted her first all-around appearance this season, was named the standout MVP and took home 3 individual titles on bars, floor, and all-around. 

RELATED: Iowa women’s gymnastics senior JerQuavia Henderson discusses identity beyond gymnastics 

Zivat commented on her mixed feelings after completing her last meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“It’s really exciting but bittersweet,” Zivat said. “Especially only being here for two years, it just makes me wish that I came here sooner.”

Looking forward, Libby hopes the GymHawks can learn from their mistakes and be the team she knows they are capable of being.

“Are you going to lay down and die or are you going to choose to put it behind you,” Libby said. “We did some great things here and there but I know that they’re a lot better than this. Maybe we’ll find out that this is exactly what we needed to kick us into shape.”

Up next

Iowa will travel to Cedar City, Utah, to take on No. 19 Southern Utah for the Hawkeyes’ last regular season competition on March 10. The Hawkeyes have not competed against the Thunderbirds since 2007, when they were victorious, 193.875-192.550.

The following week, the GymHawks will return home for the last time this season to host the Big Ten Championships at Xtreme Arena on March 18.