No. 24 GymHawks Set for Big Ten Championships

March 18, 2015

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The 24th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team begins the postseason at the Big Ten Championships on March 21. Michigan hosts the event at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State and Rutgers will compete in Session I, beginning at 10:30 a.m. (CT). Session II, which features Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State, is set for 3:30 p.m. Both sessions will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.


Hawkeye fans can watch Sessions I and II of the Big Ten Championships live on the Big Ten Network and online on BTN Plus at Links to live results and the Big Ten Championship Central Page are available on the women’s gymnastics schedule page at Fans can also follow @IowaGymnastics on Twitter for updates during the competition.

Senior Sydney Hoerr was named Second Team All-Big Ten on Tuesday. It is her second consecutive season earning the conference honor, as she was a Second Team All-Big Ten pick in 2014. She was also named to the conference’s Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch List in the preseason.

Hoerr registered the top score for Iowa on floor this year with a 9.925 against Iowa State on March 6. She has competed in all 10 meets, appearing in the all-around nine times. The Bloomington, Illinois, native is nationally ranked on three events: 26th on floor (9.895), 46th in the all-around (39.075), and 65th on bars (9.845). Hoerr is also an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

A total of 23 Big Ten gymnasts were honored — 12 to the First Team and 11 to the Second Team. All-Big Ten selections were determined by regional qualifying scores.

Sophomore Mollie Drenth earned the first Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week accolade of her career after capturing event titles with career high scores on bars (9.925) and beam (9.900) at the Big Five Meet on March 14. In addition, Drenth finished eighth on floor with a score of 9.800. The Riverview, Florida, native helped Iowa post its season high team performance (196.425) and finish fourth in the team standings. Drenth is the first to earn a weekly conference honor since Feb. 11, 2013, when Alie Glover was named Freshman of the Week.

Iowa is making its fourth consecutive appearance in the top 25 with a 24th place national ranking this week (March 16). It is the first year the GymHawks have been ranked in the top 25 since 2012. The GymHawks also rank 18th as a team on uneven bars (49.120 average score) and 22nd on beam (48.965 average score).

Four additional conference teams join the Hawkeyes in the top 25 this week, including No. 6 Michigan, No. 10 Nebraska, No. 11 Penn State and No. 19 Minnesota. There are 80 women’s gymnastics teams in the nation.

Maryland placed fifth in the Big Five meet on March 14 in Lincoln, Nebraska, posting a score of 194.875. Illinois (196.050) won the meet, with Nebraska (196.000) finishing runner-up. Ohio State (195.250) followed in third, while Michigan State (195.250) and Maryland (194.875) finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The Terps had two gymnasts named to the All-Big Ten Second Team, senior Stephanie Giameo and senior Karen Tang. The honors mark the first All-Big Ten recognition for the Terps as members of the Big Ten conference. Maryland currently ranks 20th nationally on vault (49.040 average score).

Michigan State posted a 195.250 at the Big Five meet to tie Ohio State for third place on March 14 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Spartans had two gymnasts named First Team All-Big Ten, including junior Lisa Burt and sophomore Elena Lagoski. Michigan State currently ranks 16 nationally on floor (49.210 average score) and 24th on bars (48.975).

Rutgers recorded a 194.150 team score at the Big Five meet on March 14 at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The score marks the fourth consecutive meet the Scarlet Knights posted a 194.000 team score or higher. While Rutgers is not ranked on any event, its best event is vault (48.761 average score).

? The Hawkeyes finished seventh out of eight teams at the Big Ten Championships last season with a score of 195.375. The score was a season high for Iowa, topping its previous best of 195.350 (at Boise State on Feb. 28).

? Angel Metcalf tied for fifth on floor exercise with a season best 9.925 effort to lead Iowa individually.

? Iowa posted a season high on floor exercise (49.225) and tied its season high on vault (49.025).

? Michigan (197.550) won the team title in 2014, followed by runner-up Nebraska (196.950) and third place (196.675) Minnesota. Illinois (196.625), Penn State (196.475), and Ohio State (196.400) followed in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Iowa (195.375) finished seventh, while Michigan State (194.500) rounded out standings in eighth.

? Since 1982, Iowa has finished runner-up at the Big Ten Championships twice (1991, 2003), third three times (2002, 2004, 2010), fourth once (1992), fifth five times (1989, 1993, 1998, 2001, 2008), sixth eight times (1988, 1994-96, 2005-07, 2011), seventh 10 times (1982, 1986-87, 1990, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2009, 2012, 2014), and eighth four times (1983-85, 2013).

? The Hawkeyes’ recorded their best team score at the Big Ten Championships in 2003 with a 196.850 effort. Iowa finished runner-up for the second time in program history. Michigan won the title with a score of 197.450.

? Iowa has had 13 individual Big Ten champions in program history, including five champions on floor exercise and two on vault, bars, beam and in the all-around. Houry Gebeshian is the last to win an event title at the championships for the Hawkeyes. She posted a 9.950 to claim the balance beam title in 2010.

The Iowa women’s gymnastics team posted a season high score of 196.425 and finished fourth at the first annual Big Five Meet on March 14. The GymHawks took on No. 6 Michigan (197.000), No. 12 Penn State (196.650), No. 20 Minnesota (196.450), and Rutgers (194.150) inside the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Five GymHawks tallied six season bests in the competition. Sophomore Mollie Drenth led the charge winning two event titles with career best scores on bars (9.925) and beam (9.900), while sophomore Angel Metcalf (39.275) paced Iowa with a fourth place finish in the all-around. As a team, Iowa posted season high scores on vault (49.275) and bars (49.325).

The majority of GymHawks are underclassmen, with six freshmen, six sophomores, three juniors, and three seniors on the roster.

HEAD COACH Larissa Libby:
Larissa Libby is in her 11th year as head coach, and 15th year overall, at the University of Iowa in 2014-15. In 2014, six Hawkeyes were selected for NCAA Regional competition. Alie Glover, Angel Metcalf, and Sydney Hoerr were selected as all-around competitors, while Jordyn Doherty competed on vault and Mollie Drenth competed on floor. Maryah Huntley was selected as the alternate behind Drenth on floor. Libby coached Hoerr to second team All-Big Ten honors, while Hoerr, Caitlin Tanzer and Glover earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. Libby led Iowa to its sixth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance and the seventh in her tenure in 2013.

The University of Iowa and Carver-Hawkeye Arena have been selected to host a 2016 NCAA Regional (April 2, 2016) in women’s gymnastics. Iowa last hosted an NCAA Regional in 2009.

The women’s gymnastics team is amidst a practice facility renovation. The gym — located inside the UI Field House — is scheduled to be completed in April 2015. The renovation will include new equipment, more space to train, and enhanced safety and resources for Hawkeye student-athletes.

Angel Metcalf and Sydney Hoerr have been named to the 2015 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch List. Metcalf, one of six sophomores to make the list, hails from Swansboro, North Carolina. She captured her third all-around title last season season against No. 20 Ohio State on Feb. 14 in Iowa’s annual Pink Meet. Metcalf improved her all- around score to 39.325. She previously posted a season best at Georgia (39.100). Metcalf received a bid to NCAA Regionals with five of her teammates to compete in the all-around. She competed in 12 meets last season, nine of which she competed for the all-around title. Her season-best all-around score of 39.325 has been tallied twice; the most recent at the 2014 Big Ten Championships.

Hoerr, who was also featured on the 2014 Big Ten Watch List, is a senior from Bloomington, Illinois. The 2014 second team All-Big Ten honoree registered Iowa’s individual season bests on the uneven bars (9.900 at Iowa State, March 7) and floor exercise (9.875 at Georgia, Jan. 20) last season. She competed in all 12 meets in addition to NCAA Regionals, while competing in the all-around in seven competitions. Hoerr led Iowa on the bars with a regional qualifying score of 9.855, tying for 54th nationally. Hoerr is also an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.

A member of the Iowa gymnastics staff will offer interactive Twitter content live at every event this season via @iowagymnastics. This feature gives Hawkeye fans the opportunity to stay up to date on the latest news and scores during every meet.

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