No. 24 GymHawks Host Towson in Home Finale

Feb. 17, 2016

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The 24th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for its final home contest of the season against Towson on Feb. 20. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. (CT) and will serve as the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Meet and Senior Night.


For two GymHawk seniors — Alie Glover and Opua Calucag — Saturday’s meet against Towson will be the final contest of their careers in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa will honor the seniors with highlight videos and a presentation at the conclusion of the meet.

The senior duo has helped earn the team its first top 25 nationally ranking since 2012, highest team score (196.650) since March 5, 2004, and three upset victories this year over No. 25 Ohio State, No. 14 Nebraska, and No. 21 Illinois.

Glover has competed in every meet on floor, beam, and vault for the GymHawks in all four years at Iowa. Last year, the Destin, Florida, native was named to the All-Championship Team at Big Ten Championships — one of six gymnasts in Iowa history to receive the honor. Glover holds individual team best on vault (9.925) and placed ninth on beam and 10th on floor overall at NCAA Regional. She has also earned Academic All-Big Ten honors and was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Feb. 8, 2013 after posting a career-high 39.050 for the all-around title against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago. Her personal bests are: vault (9.925), bars (9.825), floor (9.900), beam (9.875), and all-around (39.125).

Q: Why Iowa?

Glover: “My sophomore year of high school I got injured. It was a bad time for recruiting. I got a letter from Larissa and decided to visit. After two visits I decided, even though it was a long way from home, that it felt like home to me. Automatically, the coaches and team were welcoming and I loved the campus. It was just a perfect fit.”

Q: What is your favorite competitive memory from your time at Iowa?

Glover: “It has to be Big Ten Championships last year. That is the first time since I have been on this team that everything clicked. We figured out what we needed to do to go out and do our best. The excitement we had at the meet was incredible and we really put on a performance. It was so special and something I will never forget.”

Q: What is something you have learned on this team that will stay with you beyond graduation?

Glover: “Gymnasts are not taught how to be part of a team. It is an individual sport so you are used to figuring out what you need to do to be successful on your own. On this team, I have really learned what it means to be a part of a team and to do what is best for someone else instead of just worrying about yourself. This team has taught me the importance of doing something for a greater cause. It is something special that I didn’t think I would have learned if I wasn’t on a college team.”

Calucag competed on beam three times, scoring her career-high 9.075 in Iowa’s win over Iowa State on March 8, 2013. The senior also saw action on beam at Southern Utah (March 15, 2013) and at the Big Ten Championships (March 23, 2013). In her junior season, Calucag was named Academic All-Big Ten and earned the Sportsmanship Award at the Big Ten Championships.

Q: Why Iowa?

Calucag: “Being from California, I was nervous when I first thought about coming to Iowa. When I visited, I loved the team, the coaches, and the atmosphere they created. It was a family, and I knew that having that kind of environment would make being so far from home easier. It was a perfect fit for me.”

Q: What is your favorite competitive memory from your time at Iowa?

Calucag: “I will never forget the first time I competed. Just to have the whole team behind you, supporting you no matter what you do is a completely different experience than club. Competing for a team and with a team is so special.”

Q: What is something you have learned on this team that will stay with you beyond graduation?

Calucag: “I have learned a lot about myself and leadership. It is hard to be with 20 other girls with different personalities. I learned a lot about how to mesh different types of people together and how to deal with everything that comes with it. I have learned a lot about myself and how I fit into a group and it has really revealed a lot about who I am as a person. It has been an excellent learning experience and I will miss it so much.”

Saturday is Senior Night and the annual Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Meet. The first 250 fans in attendance will receive a free pink Iowa gymnastics t-shirt. Saturday is also Junior Hawk Club Night. Junior Hawk Club members who present their membership card will receive a free ice cream sandwich at the concessions stand. An hour before every home meet this season will be Hot Dog Happy Hour — purchase hot dogs for only $1 (beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday). Kids Zone will be available for young Hawkeye fans prior to the meet.

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