Hawkeyes Gear Up for Black & Gold Intrasquad Meet on Saturday

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The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will host the annual Black and Gold Intrasquad on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT) inside the UI Field House. Admission is free.

The GymHawks will split in two teams: the Black team and Gold team. The Black team will consist of Lexi Mura, Mollie Drenth, Nikki Youd, Jori Robertson, Sydney Hogan, Rose Piorkowski, Gina Leal, Charlotte Sullivan, Ashleigh Edlin and Misty Jade Carlson. The Black team will be coached by assistant coach Vince Smurro.

The Gold team will consist of Angel Metcalf, Melissa Zurawski, Lanie Snyder, Nicole Chow, Breanna Fitzke, Tessa Walsh, Clair Kaji, Annie Kustoff, Savannah Borman and Maria Ortiz. The Gold team will be coached by 
assistant coach Jennifer Green.

The Hawkeyes welcome five new freshmen — Charlotte Sullivan, Clair Kaji, Breanna Fitzke, Gina Leal, and Annie Kustoff– to the 2017 squad.

Sullivan is from Christchurch, New Zealand and is a five-time New Zealand Nationals Champion. She also won a bronze medal on beam at the World Cup in Portugal (2015).

Kaji is from Vancouver, Canada. She is a four-time Canadian Championship qualifier and a four-time Elite Canada competitor. In 2015, she placed sixth in the all-around at the Canada Winter Games to help her team take home the bronze.

Fitzke is from West Allis, Wisconsin. She is a three-time regional qualifier and a two-time state qualifier.  Fitzke finished fifth in the state on floor in 2014 and fourth in 2015.

Leal is from Glastonbury, Connecticut. In 2012, she was the state champion on vault and bars and runner-up on floor and in the all-around, was the regional champion on vault and bars, and won vault at the Western National Championship. 

Kustoff is from San Antonio, Texas. In 2014, she placed first on bars and second in the all-around at state competition, won bars at regionals, and was the champion on beam and runner-up on bars at the Western National Championship.

Mollie Drenth represented the Hawkeyes at the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships on April 5. She finished in third place on beam with a score of 9.9125. Following the season, Drenth earned First Team All-American honors – Iowa’s first since Alexis Maday in 2004.

At the Championships, Drenth earned a 9.8250 on floor and a 9.7750 on vault. She capped off the night on bars where she earned an 8.9625. Drenth finished 13th in the all-around with a total of 38.4750.

In the 2016 season alone, Drenth collected 19 individual titles, which included eight beam titles, seven titles in the all-around, three on vault, and one on floor. She captured Iowa’s season high scores on vault (9.950), beam (9.925), and in the all-around (39.475).

Last season, the University of Iowa hosted the NCAA Regional in Iowa City on April 2. This was the first time the Hawkeyes hosted the event since 2009. Iowa has had representation at every NCAA Regional since 2005 – with three seasons of individual representation and nine team appearances.

Iowa finished the 2016 NCAA Regional in fourth with a score of 195.450. Six GymHawks placed in the top 15 for individual events. Mollie Drenth posted a score of 9.900 on beam to tie for first. Alie Glover posted a 9.875 to tie for sixth. Drenth and junior Angel Metcalf tied for fourth on bars, as both tallied a score of 9.900. Lexi Mura and Melissa Zurawski followed with a score of 9.875 to tie for eighth. Drenth also paced the GymHawks on floor with a score of 9.825 (T-13). Drenth and Rose Piorkowski tied for seventh on vault with a score of 9.825. Metcalf and Drenth represented Iowa in the all-around. Drenth tied for third with a 39.450, while Metcalf took 10th with a 38.650.

Metcalf and Drenth were selected to the All-Championship team for the second consecutive year. Drenth advanced to the NCAA Championship as an individual – Iowa’s first NCAA Championship qualifier since 2011.

Last season, Iowa ended the regular season ranked No. 19 nationally — the program’s first top 20 ranking since 2011. The GymHawks ended the post-season ranked No. 23 for the second year in a row. The GymHawks closed the regular
season ranked 17th on vault (48.933 average score), 17th on uneven bars (49.250), 23rd on beam (48.702), and 28th on floor (49.115).

At the conclusion of the regional meet, head coach Larissa Libby was named the NCAA North Central Region Coach of the Year. Assistant coaches Jennifer Green and Caleb Phillips were also recognized with NCAA North Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year recognition. The GymHawks coaching staff led the team to a 10-win season and No. 19 ranking.

For more ticket information, please visit hawkeyesports.com or contact the UI Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800 IA-HAWKS. Season tickets are currently on sale for $42. The package includes premium seating options and a free sweatshirt if purchased before Jan. 17. Fans who purchased season tickets will gain admission to six home competitions inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, against Michigan State, California-Berkley, Maryland, Iowa State, Illinois and UIC and the home finale of the Big Five Meet. Youth (18 and younger) and UI students are admitted free to all home matches.

For updates throughout the season, follow the Hawkeyes on Twitter @Iowa Gymnastics and like the team on Facebook at facebook.com/iowagymnastics.

Live Stats:        livestats.hawkeyesports.com
Facebook:        facebook.com/iowagymnastics
Twitter:        twitter.com/iowagymnastics
YouTube:        youtube.com/iowagymnastics
Web Address:    hawkeyesports.com (check the schedule page for live stats and live streams)

The GymHawks will kick off the 2016-17 season on the road against Northern Illinois in Dekalb, Illinois, on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 1:00 P.M. (CT).