BY: MADISON PETERSEN
IOWA CITY, Iowa – No. 22 University of Iowa women’s gymnastics’ freshman Clair Kaji earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors after winning her second floor title of the year with a season best 9.900 against Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday.
“I am thrilled that Clair was selected for this award,” said UI head coach Larissa Libby. “She has been doing stellar gymnastics since the season started and her recognition is well deserved. Clair has been very diligent in her training, both mentally and physically, and I am excited to see her recognized for her efforts. While this is her first award, I feel it will not be her last.”
The Vancouver, Canada, native placed fourth overall on beam with a season best score of 9.875. She also recorded a 9.750 on uneven bars in the competition.
The freshman has earned a title at every meet so far. She took first overall on uneven bars at Northern Illinois (9.875), on beam against Michigan State (9.850), and on floor against California (9.825).
Kaji comes to Iowa from a successful career on the Canadian national team. She took first on beam and in the all-around at the B.C. Provincial Championships in 2014, and then returned in 2015 to take first in the all-around again. In 2014, Kaji also won on vault and placed second on beam at the Western Canadian Championships. She highlighted her career by taking sixth in the all-around at the 2015 Canada Winter Games to help her team take home the bronze medal.
Kaji and the GymHawks return to action on Sunday against Big Ten foe Maryland inside Carver Hawkeye Arena at 2:00 p.m. (CT).