Jan. 15, 2016
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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Thirteen top-five finishes lifted the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team over Michigan State, 194.900-192.575, inside the Jenison Field House Friday. The win marks the first time the Hawkeyes have topped Michigan State in East Lansing since Jan. 7, 2011.
“It was great,” said head coach Larissa Libby. “We started on bars and it was the first time this season we have started there. I thought we had a very strong start, momentum wise. We had two falls but we have vowed to not focus on those things. Instead we need to focus on the type of performance we want to see. Overall, we thought today was incredible from our team. They were relentless and never gave up. That is what we have been looking for.”
Six GymHawks earned a total of 13 top-five finishes to highlight the competition. Leading the pack was junior Mollie Drenth who finished at the top of the podium on vault (9.775) and all-around (39.125), second on floor (9.800) and beam (9.750), and fourth on bars (9.800).
Iowa started the night on bars, posting a 48.900. Senior Johanny Sotillo led the GymHawks posting a season-high 9.850 to take first place overall. Junior Angel Metcalf followed her teammate, earning a 9.825 for second place overall.
Freshman Maria Ortiz led the charge on vault for the Hawkeyes for the third meet in a row, posting a 9.775 to earn a first place result. Senior Alie Glover added a 9.725 for third place to give the Hawkeyes an event total of 48.625.
Iowa closed the night on beam with a season-high team score of 48.600. Sotillo led the Hawkeyes with another first place finish and a score of 9.825. Sophomore Nikki Youd followed closely behind her teammate, tallying a season-best score of 9.725 and taking fourth place overall.
“I was very pleased with the whole competition,” said Libby. “I was pleased with how they walked into the arena. As always, they held themselves with the utmost integrity and character and represented Iowa like champions. We watched the basketball game together, so it was nice to come off that and add another win at Michigan State.”
The GymHawks return to action on Monday, Jan. 18, when they host the Denver Pioneers. The meet is slated to begin at 4 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Monday’s meet against Denver is Student Day. The first 250 fans will receive a free Iowa Gymnastics drawstring bag.
Beginning at 1 p.m. Monday, fans will be able to purchase hot dogs for only $1 during Hot Dog Happy Hour. Fans with an Iowa Men’s Basketball ticket from Jan. 17 will receive free admission to Monday’s meet. Please bring your ticket stub for admission. Kids Zone will be available for young Hawkeye fans prior to the meet.