The GymHawks Series: Vault Edition

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team has vast options for competitors in their vault lineup going into the 2017 season.

Six GymHawks appeared in the lineup for the event on Sunday in the season opener against Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, and Lindenwood in Dekalb, Illinois, to post the best team vault score of the meet with a 48.575.

Meet the Returning Lineup
Iowa returns nine GymHawks to their potential beam lineup this season: seniors Angel Metcalf and Mollie Drenth, juniors Lanie Snyder, Nikki Youd, and Melissa Zurawski, and sophomores Rose Piorkowski, Misty-Jade Carlson, Maria Ortiz, and Nicole Chow.

Last season, Piorkowski competed on vault in ten meets on vault and earned first-place honors three times. The sophomore went on to place seventh at the 2016 NCAA Regional Championships. She posted her personal record score of a 9.875 at Illinois on Feb. 13. Piorkowski won vault for the Hawkeyes on Sunday with a 9.775.

Drenth enters her fourth and final season with the Hawkeyes. She competed on vault in every meet last season and won three event titles. She also captured the runner-up title at the Big Ten Championships and tied Piorkowski for seventh at the NCAA Regional Championships. The senior posted her personal best of 9.950 last season against Iowa State to record Iowa’s individual season best and tie the third best score in Iowa history. Drenth had the third best score for the Hawkeyes on vault in the quad meet on Sunday with a 9.725.

Zurawski is entering her second season competing on vault. She made her vault appearance last season when she competed in two meets and posted her personal best of a 9.875 against Ohio State. The junior scored a 9.675 on vault in the quad meet on Sunday.

Snyder is also entering her second season on vault. She made her debut in the event last season at Denver with a 9.750. Snyder recorded a 9.650 in the season opener on Sunday.

Ortiz competed on vault in twelve meets last season and earned two event titles. She registered her personal best of 9.875 at the Big Five Meet. The sophomore posted a 9.625 on Sunday.

Carlson competed in nine meets on vault last season. She recorded her personal best at the Big Ten Championships with a 9.850 to take sixth-place.

Metcalf enters her fourth season competing on vault. She competed on vault in every meet last season and registered her personal best of 9.875 at the Big Ten Championships.

Youd enters her third season on vault. She competed in six meets on vault last season and recorded her personal best of a 9.900 at the Big Five Meet. At the NCAA Regional Championships, she took tenth-place with a score of 9.825.

Chow competed on vault against Towson last season with a 9.700.

New Additions to the Lineup
Junior Jori Robertson has been working on her vault routine to potentially join the lineup for future competition. She competed as an exhibition on Sunday.

Talented Newcomers
Freshman Charlotte Sullivan made her Hawkeye debut in the vault lineup at Northern Illinois on Sunday. She recorded the second best score in the event for the Hawkeyes with a 9.750. Her performance earned her Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. The freshman comes to Iowa from a successful career on the New Zealand national team. She is an all-around competitor and won the New Zealand Nationals in 2012, 2013, 2012, 2010, and 2007.

Freshman Clair Kaji is also working on perfecting her vault routine for potential lineup action and to have the ability to participate in the all-around. The Vancouver native comes to Iowa from a successful career on the Canadian national team. She was the runner-up on vault at the British Columbia Provincial Championships in 2014 and 2015 and was the vault champion at the Western Canadian Championships in 2014.

The vault squad and the rest of the GymHawks return to action on Friday in their home opener against Michigan State at 7:00 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Fans can follow along with Iowa women’s gymnastics on and by following @IowaGymnastics on Twitter and Instagram.