Feb. 27, 2016
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DENVER, Colo. — The 18th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team posted a 196.075 to take second place in a quadrangular Saturday night. The GymHawks took on No. 13 Denver (197.525), Southeast Missouri State (192.650), and Illinois-Chicago (192.475) inside the Hamilton Gymnasium in Denver, Colorado.
“I was very pleased,” said UI head coach Larissa Libby. “We are definitely back on track. They started out great on bars and beam and then had a few uncharacteristic mistakes on floor. I was very pleased that, even with a few mistakes, they didn’t continue to cave. They actually turned on the heat and did some of the best vaulting that we have done all year long.”
Six GymHawks earned a total of 11 top five finishes to highlight the competition. Leading the pack was junior Mollie Drenth who finished second on vault (9.925) and beam (9.900), and fourth in the all-around (39.050). Junior Angel Metcalf also earned a trio of top five finishes, placing second on bars (9.875), third in the all-around (39.100), and fourth on vault (9.850).
The GymHawks started strong, posting a 49.150 on bars. Junior Lexi Mura paced the Hawkeyes with a career-high 9.875 to tie for second. Metcalf tied her teammate, also tallying a 9.875 in the event.
Senior Alie Glover and Drenth led the charge on beam for the Hawkeyes, each posting a 9.900 to tie for second place. Senior Johanny Sotillo added a 9.850 for seventh place to give the Hawkeyes an event total of 49.075.
After the third rotation, Denver (148.000) continued to hold the lead, Iowa (146.925) sat comfortably in second, Illinois-Chicago (144.675) remained in third, and Southeast Missouri State (144.025) was fourth.
Iowa closed the night on vault with a season-high team score of 49.150. Drenth led the Hawkeyes, earning second place after posting a career-high 9.925. Sophomore Nikki Youd and Metcalf followed closely behind their teammate, each tallying a 9.850 and taking fourth place overall.
“A lot of people had key performances for us tonight,” said Libby. “Overall, a loss to Denver is a loss. But to me it is a win. I am pleased with our potential. Knowing that we are still making some little mistakes, I truly believe we can get into that 197 range. I couldn’t be more pleased with their efforts tonight.”
The GymHawks travel to Ames, Iowa, for an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series rivalry contest against Iowa State on Friday, March 4. The meet is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. (CT) inside Hilton Coliseum.