And Away We Go

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2017-18 | Hawk Talk Monthly — January 2018

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.

By MADISON PETERSEN
hawkeyesports.com

IOWA CITY, Iowa — As the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team prepares to kick off the 2018 season Saturday, fans are invited to get to know this season’s freshman class.
 
ERIN CASTLE // Boone, Iowa // All-Around
 
How did you start to compete in gymnastics?
“My parents enrolled me in gymnastics when I was three years old because I had too much energy and they thought gymnastics would be a safe place for me to channel it. I fell in love with the sport and progressed through the levels to begin competing by the time I was seven.”
 
Which event is your favorite to compete in, and why?
“My favorite event is floor. It’s the event where I can have fun and express my personality the most. Plus, I love tumbling.”
 
What has been your favorite part of Iowa so far?
“My favorite part of being at Iowa so far has been the relationships I’ve built with my teammates and coaches. We are one big family and we care about each other so much. Our team culture is very special, and I feel fortunate to be part of it.”
 
EMMA HARTZLER // Marion, Iowa // All-Around
 
How did start to compete in gymnastics?
“My mom was a gymnast in high school, so naturally, we did the parent-toddler classes when I was young. However, I didn’t fall in love with the sport until one of my friends had his birthday party at a gym. After, I asked my mom to sign me up for classes and gymnastics has been part of my life ever since.”

Which event is your favorite to compete in, and why?
“My favorite event to compete in is bars. In the past, it has been the most challenging event for me, so it’s nice to see how far I’ve come.”
 
What has been your favorite part of Iowa so far?
“My favorite part of Iowa has been being part of this team. My teammates and coaches are amazing. We are a family, and they make it feel like a home away from home.”
 
MADISON KAMPSCHROEDER // Overland Park, Kansas // All-Around
 
How did you start to compete in gymnastics?
“My dad was a gymnast when he was younger and he coached at my old gym. He signed me up for parent-toddler classes as soon as I could walk and everything happened from there.”
 
Which event is your favorite to compete in, and why?
“My favorite event is uneven bars. I love feeling the hype from my whole team during my routine.”
 
What has been your favorite part of Iowa so far?
“My favorite part has been working out every day with my team. The team is one huge family. Knowing that they’re all here to support you no matter what is what makes this team so incredible.”
 
ANNABELLE MOSIER // Longmont, Colorado // All-Around
 
How did you start to compete in gymnastics?
“I’ve been doing gymnastics since before I could remember. My mom competed in gymnastics in college and now owns gym I belonged to growing up, so she got me started. I loved it right away, and it wasn’t long before I was on the level 4 JO team.”
 
Which event is your favorite to compete in, and why?
“My favorite event to compete in is floor. It’s so much fun to show off your routine, and there is no other feeling like rocking a big pass and ending with a big, college finish.”
 
What has been your favorite part of Iowa so far?
“My favorite part about Iowa is when it’s cloudy and gross outside, but everyone is still wearing gold. It cheers me up.”
 
ASHLEY SMITH // Jacksonville, Florida // All-Around
 
How did you start to compete in gymnastics?
“When my two older sisters began in gymnastics, I followed and fell in love with the sport.”
 
Which event is your favorite to compete in, and why?
“I like competing on vault the most, because it is the event that I have progressed in the most since beginning gymnastics.”
 
What has been your favorite part of Iowa so far?
“I’ve loved being part of such a close team that feels like one big family. Being a part of a college team is a completely different feeling than being part of a club team in high school, and I’m so happy I get to experience that feeling at Iowa.”
 
The freshmen and the GymHawks compete in a quad meet against No. 14 Auburn, Iowa State, and Arizona State on Saturday in Tempe, Arizona, beginning at 5 p.m. (CT).