Drenth Aims for National Title

April 12, 2016

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    The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will be represented by junior Mollie Drenth at the 2016 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships April 15-16 in Fort Worth, Texas.

    Drenth will compete as an individual all-around competitor in Semifinal II, vying for a national title beginning Friday at 7 p.m. (CT). The event is hosted by Texas Woman’s University and the Knight Eady Sports Group.

    ? Semifinal I, Semifinal II, and the Super Six Team Finals will air live on the ESPNU. There will be four separate streams with one stream per apparatus. Links to each stream can be found on the Championship Central page.

    ? Fans can find meet highlights on Twitter (@IowaGymnastics).

    ? Links to live stats are available on the women’s gymnastics schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.

    QUICK FACTS — Mollie Drenth
    ? Drenth’s third place finish in the all-around (39.450) at NCAA Regionals on April 2 was enough to punch her first ticket to compete in the NCAA Championships. She is Iowa’s first NCAA Championship qualifier since Rebecca Simbhudas and Houry Gebeshian in 2011.

    ? Drenth collected a total of 19 titles during the 2016 season, including eight beam titles, seven in the all-around, three on vault, and one on floor.

    ? Drenth collected five all-around event titles in five consecutive weeks from January 23 to February 20.

    ? Drenth holds Iowa’s season high scores on vault (9.950), beam (9.925), and in the all-around (39.475).

    ? Following her performance at the Big Ten Championships on March 19, junior Mollie Drenth was all named to the All-Championship Team for the second consecutive year.

    ? Drenth earned First Team All-Big Ten accolades on March 14. She became the first Hawkeye to earn First Team honors since Jessa Hansen in 2011.

    The GymHawks capped their season in NCAA Regional action inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on April 2 with a fourth place regional finish and a score of 195.450. Nine GymHawks collected a total of 17 top 25 finishes. Junior Mollie Drenth led the way for the Hawkeyes, finishing at the top of the podium on beam (9.900), fourth on bars (9.900), seventh on vault (9.825), and 13th on floor (9.825).

    Drenth finished third in the all-around with a score of 39.450. Since the first and second place competitors — Chayse Capps (39.550) and Keeley Kmieciak (39.475) — advance with Oklahoma, Drenth advanced to the NCAA Championship as an individual, the first championship appearance of her career.

    ? Iowa has had representation at every NCAA Regionals since 2005 — with three seasons of individual representation and nine team appearances.

    ? Libby has led Iowa to nine NCAA Regional appearances in 12 seasons, including this season.

    ? Drenth is Iowa’s first NCAA Championship qualifier since Rebecca Simbhudas and Houry Gebeshian in 2011.

    ? Iowa has participated in NCAA Championship competition as a team twice. The team made back-to-back appearances in 2003 and 2004.

    Drenth will rotate with California, starting on beam followed by a bye. Following the bye, Drenth will move to the floor, vault, and bars, with another bye before bars.

    The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional received an automatic berth to the national championships in Fort Worth, Texas. The top two teams from the Iowa City, Salt Lake City and Tuscaloosa regionals will compete in one of the semifinals, and the top two teams from the Minneapolis, Ann Arbor and Athens regionals will compete in the other semifinal.

    In addition, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championships (in that event only) if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.

    No. 3 Alabama (Tuscaloosa Regional Winner), No. 7 Auburn (Ann Arbor Regional Winner), No. 11 California (Tuscaloosa Regional Runner-Up), No. 4 Florida (Minneapolis Regional Champion), No. 6 Georgia (Athens Regional Runner-Up), No. 2 LSU (Athens Regional Winner), No. 12 Minnesota (Minneapolis Regional Runner-Up), No. 9 Nebraska (Iowa City Regional Runner-Up), No. 1 Oklahoma (Iowa City Regional Winner), No. 10 Stanford (Ann Arbor Regional Runner-Up), No. 8 UCLA (Salt Lake City Regional Runner-Up), and No. 5 Utah (Salt Lake City Regional Winner).

    All-Around Competitors
    Amanda Wellick (Arkansas), Nina McGee (Denver), Mollie Drenth (Iowa), Sidney Dukes (Kentucky), Alex Hyland (Kentucky), Nicole Artz (Michigan), Brianna Brown (Michigan), Lisa Burt (Michigan State), Morgan Porter (Missouri), Madeline Gardiner (Oregon State), Danielle Ramirez (Southern Utah), and Allison Northey (Washington).

Individual Event Specialists
VAULT: Taylor Allex (Arizona State) and Meaghan Sievers (Iowa State).
BARS: No Qualifiers
BEAM: Lexi Mills (Arizona), Shani Remme (Boise State), and Risa Perez (Oregon State).
FLOOR: Rachel Slocum (Eastern Michigan), Lizzy LeDuc (Illinois), Talia Chiarelli (Michigan), Briannah Tsang (Penn State), and Lindsay Offutt (Pittsburgh).

Three GymHawks received individual conference awards following the 2016 Big Ten Championship. Three GymHawks received individual conference awards. Juniors Mollie Drenth and Angel Metcalf were all named to the All-Championship Team for the second consecutive year, while sophomore Melissa Zurawski collected the Sportsmanship Award.

? Senior Alie Glover and juniors Angel Metcalf and Mollie Drenth of the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team earned All-Big Ten honors, the conference office announced March 14. Drenth earned first team accolades, while Glover and Metcalf were both named to the second team. It is the first time Iowa has had three women’s gymnasts recognized in the same season since 2011.

? Twenty-nine gymnasts were honored — 16 to the conference’s first team and 13 to the second team. All-Big Ten selections are determined by regional qualifying scores.

? Drenth ranks third in the conference on beam (9.895 RQS), fifth in the all-around (39.340), ninth on vault (9.845), 18th on bars (9.835), and 22nd on floor (9.840).

? Metcalf ranks 10th in the conference on beam (9.870 RQS), 11th in the all-around (39.235), 12th on bars (9.845), 22nd on vault (9.810), and 31st on floor (9.825).

? Glover ranks ninth in the conference on floor (9.880 RQS), 23rd on beam (9.830), and 26 on vault (9.785).

The GymHawks finished the 2016 season ranked No. 23 nationally — the program’s first top 25 finish since 2004. Iowa was the fourth highest ranked Big Ten team behind Nebraska, Minnesota, and Michigan. There are 82 women’s gymnastics teams in the nation.

University of Iowa’s Student-Athlete Academic Services recognized junior Mollie Drenth as February’s female Student-Athlete of the Month. Voted on by their peers, this honor recognizes those student-athletes who have excelled not only in their sport, but in the classroom as well.

Undefeated in Big Ten competition this season with eight individual titles, Drenth ranks 12th nationally and third in the conference on beam. On Feb. 6, Drenth recorded career bests in vault (9.850), beam (9.925), and all-around (39.475) to lead Iowa to its first win over Nebraska in 17 years. Drenth’s scores on beam and in all-around are the best of any Hawkeye in 2016. Drenth, a native of Riverview, Florida, is majoring in health and human physiology and has participated in numerous volunteer service events.

? The GymHawks earned a season-high team score to defeat No. 14 Nebraska, 196.650- 196.350, inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 6. The win marks the first time in 17 years that the Hawkeyes have topped the Cornhuskers.

? Drenth, a preseason Big Ten Gymnast to Watch, finished at the top of the podium on beam (9.925) and all-around (39.475), and finished second on vault (9.850) and bars (9.850) against No. 14 Nebraska.

? The junior took the all-around title for the third consecutive meet and the fifth time this season with a career-high score of 39.475. Her score earned her a No. 10-ranking in the Iowa record books for highest individual performance in the all-around.

? The Riverview, Florida, native set the pace for Iowa once again on beam, tallying a career-high 9.925 to earn first place overall. The junior’s score earned her a No. 3-ranking in the Iowa record books for highest individual performance on beam.

Angel Metcalf and Mollie Drenth were recognized on the 2016 Big Ten Gymnasts to Watch List released on Dec. 10. Metcalf, who was also featured on the 2014 Big Ten Watch List, registered Iowa’s individual season bests on beam (9.900 at No. 20 Ohio State, Jan. 24) and in the all-around (39.400 vs. No. 15 Illinois, Feb. 14) last season. She earned fourth on floor (9.900), 19th in the all-around (38.575) and 26th place on bars (9.825) at the Big Ten Championships on March 21, and was named to the All-Championship Team for her efforts. She ended the season at the NCAA Auburn Regional on April 4 with a fifth place finish in the all-around (39.175) and 12th place result on bars (9.800).

Drenth, a 2015 Big Ten All-Championship Team member, competed in every meet last season and owns Iowa’s individual season best on uneven bars (9.925). Drenth earned the first Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week accolade of her career on March 16 after capturing an event title on bars (9.925) at the Big Five meet. Last season, the junior earned a second place finish on beam (9.900) and a ninth place finish on bars (9.775) at the Big Ten Championships on March 21. Drenth ended the season at the NCAA Auburn Regional where she earned ninth on bars (9.825) and eighth in the all-around (39.050).

HEAD COACH Larissa Libby
Larissa Libby enters her 12th year as head coach, and 16th year overall, at the University of Iowa in 2015-16. In 2015, the GymHawks were selected for NCAA Regional competition, marking the program’s seventh postseason berth in the last eight years. Five GymHawks placed in the top 15 for individual events, leading Iowa to a fifth place regional finish and a score of 194.475. Libby coached the GymHawks to a season high score of 196.500 at the Big Ten Championships — the team’s best championship team result since 2010. Iowa’s performance also marked the highest team score for the program at the Big Ten Championships since March 20, 2004.

Under Libby, Iowa was ranked in the top 25 for six consecutive weeks during the 2015 season. The GymHawks ended the season ranked No. 23 nationally, marking the program’s first Top 25 ranking since 2012. Libby led sophomores Mollie Drenth and Angel Metcalf, junior Alie Glover, and senior Sydney Hoerr, to earn spots on the All-Championship Team. Libby is also responsible for the only other gymnast named to the All-Championship Team (Emma Stevenson, 2012) in program history.

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

Championship Central: ncaa.com/2015-nc-womens-gymnastics
Web Address: hawkeyesports.com (check the schedule page for live stats and live streams)
Facebook: facebook.com/iowagymnastics
Twitter: twitter.com/iowagymnastics
Live Stats: stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=130552