The ninth-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will host a tri-meet on Saturday, welcoming No. 29 Maryland and No. 12 Minnesota to Carver-Hawkeye Arena at 1 p.m. (CT). Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no general admittance to the meet.
Minnesota joined the meet after its competition at Michigan State was postponed due to COVID issues within the Spartan program.
• Saturday’s meet will be streamed live on B1G+.
• Fans can follow along via live results at hawkeyesports.com.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
•The GymHawks are No. 9 in the Road to Nationals rankings with an average score of 195.531. The Hawkeyes started the season ranked 25th before climbing to No. 9 — the highest ranking in school history — on Jan. 18, Jan. 25 and Feb. 8.
• The Hawkeyes posted three season-high scores in the victory over No. 11 Minnesota en route to a score of 196.800. The score is tied for the fourth-best in school history and is the highest by the program since 2004.
• Iowa currently has a No. 8 national ranking and leads the Big Ten on floor with a 49.350 average. Clair Kaji is currently ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten and is eighth nationally on floor with an average of 9.906.
• The Hawkeyes are first in the Big Ten and seventh nationally on balance beam and 11th in the country on uneven bars.
• Iowa posted a season high on beam, tallying a 49.150 against No. 11 Minnesota on Feb. 6.
• Iowa has earned six Big Ten weekly honors through the first four weeks with Lauren Guerin, Clair Kaji, and Adeline Kenlin all being multiple award winners. The Hawkeyes had a record seven weekly honorees during the 2004 season.
A START FOR THE AGE
The Hawkeyes have catapulted up the national rankings early in the 2021 season. Iowa started the season ranked 25th in the preseason before jumping 16 spots to No. 9 in the rankings following a season-opening 196.450 at Minnesota. The national ranking is the best in program history.
• The Hawkeyes 196.450 was a high under Larissa Libby in a season opener and in the month of January. Iowa followed it up with a 196.550 in the decisive win over No. 13 Ohio State.
• Iowa posted its highest score of the season and its highest score under Libby — a 196.800 — in a come-from-behind victory over No. 11 Minnesota. The score is the highest in 17 years.
• Senior Clair Kaji tied for first place on beam against Minnesota, scoring a 9.900. The senior earned her highest score of the season.
• Junior Lauren Guerin scored a 9.950 on floor to tie for first place. Guerin was debuting a week-old floor routine as she tied her career best for the fifth time.
Sophomore JerQuavia Henderson is the only Hawkeye to compete in all-around this season. She posted her career-best — a 39.325 — in her debut at Illinois en route to the win. Minnesota. The Peoria, Illinois, native has a 39.313 average, which puts her fifth in the Big Ten and No. 17 nationally.
HAWKEYE EVENT WINNERS
Iowa has shared or won 12 individual event victories in its first four meets. Senior Clair Kaji has won four events, junior Lauren Guerin has three wins and freshman Adeline Kenlin has two wins. Junior Alex Greenwald, senior Emma Hartzler, and sophomore JerQuavia Henderson have one victory apiece.
B1G WEEKLY HONOREES
• Junior Lauren Guerin was the Big Ten Specialist of the Week on Feb. 8 after scoring a 9.950 and sharing the event title against No. 11 Minnesota.
• Adeline Kenlin earned her second Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor on Feb. 8 after placing third on the bars and beam posting a 9.85 and9.875. She was awared her first honor on Jan. 25 after sharing the bar title and placing third on vault in the win over Ohio State.
• Senior Clair Kaji was named the Big Ten Specialist of the Week on Feb. 1 after winning floor (9.900) and finishing as runner up on the beam (9.875) and bars (9.725) against Illinois. Kaji was also earned the distinction Jan. 25 after earning a share of beam title and tying a career-high on floor for a second consecutive week.
• Guerin was also the Big Ten Specialist of the Week on Jan. 18 after sharing the floor title at Minnesota. She posted a 9.950 for the fourth time in her career.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
Three Hawkeyes enter the 2021 in the Iowa record books. They are as follows:
• Clair Kaji – t2nd – 9.950 – Beam
• Lauren Guerin – t3rd – 9.950 – Floor
• Allyson Steffensmeier – 6th – 9.925 – Uneven Bars
• Lauren Guerin – 9th – 9.925 – Vault
• Lauren Guerin – t11 – 9.925 – Floor
• Clair Kaji – t11 – 9.925 – Floor
• Clair Kaji – t14th – 9.900 – Beam
• Clair Kaji – t15th – 9.900 – Uneven Bars
Following a four-year stint as an assistant coach at UC Davis, former Hawkeye Jessa Hansen Parker has returned to Iowa City as an assistant coach. Hansen Parker was a four-year letterwinner at Iowa from 2008-12 where she earned two All-Big Ten, three Academic All-Big Ten, and two Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honors.
19 & COUNTING
Head coach Larissa Libby has led GymHawks to 19 straight NCAA Regional appearances (either as a team or individually). The 2021 season is Libby’s 17th as Iowa’s head coach and 21st overall with the program.
FOLLOW THE HAWKEYES
For a behind the scenes look at the program, follow the GymHawks via social media at Facebook/IowaGymnastics, Twitter/@IowaGymnastics, and Instagram (@IowaGymnastics).
The Hawkeyes travel to Lincolin, Nebraska, on Feb. 20 to face the Cornhuskers inside the Bob Devaney Sports Center at 7 p.m. (CT).