The 17th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will return to Iowa City to host No. 19 Illinois on Saturday in its home finale inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Action at the Senior Day meet is set to begin at 1 p.m. (CT). Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no general admittance to the meet.
THAT 70’S MEET
The Hawkeyes will hold a 70’s themed meet in the home finale. The program will also recognize seniors Erin Castle, Emma Hartzler and Clair Kaji prior to the competition.
• 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 won their first Big Ten Conference title, winning the regular season crown after going 8-0 in the league during the 2021 season.
• Iowa (8-1 overall) is ranked 17th in the Road to Nationals rankings with an average score of 196.588. The Hawkeyes started the season ranked 25th before climbing to No. 9 for three straight weeks. Iowa’s No. 7 ranking during the week of Feb. 15 was the highest in school history.
• The Hawkeyes posted six season-high scores and put two gymnasts in the record books in the victory at the Big Five Meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, en route to a score of 196.100. Iowa downed No. 5 Michigan, No. 30 Penn State, and No. 43 Rutgers. The Hawkeye win in Ann Arbor was a first for the program.
• Iowa currently has a No. 2 national rankings and leads the Big Ten on floor with a 49.463 average. Junior Lauren Guerin is ranked No.4 nationally and leads the Big Ten on floor with an average of 9.938. Iowa set the program record with a 49.600 against Maryland.
• The Hawkeyes are third in the Big Ten and 17th nationally on beam and 20th in the country on uneven bars.
• Iowa posted a season high on vault, tallying a 49.200 at the Big Five Meet on Feb. 26.
• Iowa has earned seven Big Ten weekly honors through the first five weeks with Lauren Guerin, Clair Kaji, and Adeline Kenlin all being multiple award winners. This ties the record seven weekly honorees that was set during the 2004 season.
The Hawkeyes clinched their first Big Ten Conference championship, claiming the regular season title, when they won the Big Five Meet in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on Feb. 27. Iowa finished the Big Ten regular season with an 8-0 record.
KENLIN EARNS 3RD B1G HONOR
Freshman Adeline Kenlin was named the Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week — her third weekly honor of the season — on March 1. The Iowa City native earned the award after posting a pair of career highs to help lead the Hawkeyes to a Big Five Meet victory last weekend in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Kenlin posted a her first career-high on bars, scoring a 9.900 to tie for fifth place. Her second career-best came on vault, where she tied for sixth place after scoring a 9.850.
A START FOR THE AGE
The Hawkeyes climbed to as high as No. 7 in the national rankings during the week of Feb. 15, which was the highest ranking in program history. Iowa started the season ranked 25th in the preseason poll before jumping 16 spots to No. 9 in the rankings following a season-opening 196.450 at Minnesota.
• 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 since 2004.
• The Hawkeyes followed up the score with a 196.775 against Minnesota and Maryland. The score was tied for sixth all-time.
• Iowa’s 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.
Q’S SCHOOL RECORD
Sophomore JerQuavia Henderson tied a school record on floor, scoring a 9.975 in Iowa’s tri-meet against Minnesota and Maryland. The Illinois native received a 10.000 from one judge en route to her career-best score. Her performance tied Alexis Maday and Stephanie Gran for the school record, which was set during the 2004 season.
KAJI NOMINATED FOR AAI AWARD
Senior Clair Kaji is one of 30 nominees for the American Athletic, Inc. (AAI) award, one presented to the most outstanding senior female gymnasts in the country. This award can be considered the Heisman Trophy of women’s gymnastics.
• Freshman Adeline Kenlin scored a 9.950 on beam — a career-best — to finish as the event winner against Nebraska on Feb. 20. The 9.950 is tied for the second-highest score in school history.
• Senior Clair Kaji scored a 9.950, which is second in school history, on beam to tie her career best at the Big Five Meet on Feb. 27.
• Sophomore JerQuavia Henderson set a new season bests on vault after scoring a 9.925 on Feb. 27. This ties for ninth-best in school history.
Sophomore JerQuavia Henderson is the only Hawkeye to compete in all-around this season. The Illinois native posted a career-best — a 39.325 — in her debut at Illinois en route to the all-around win. Henderson has a 39.175 average, which puts her fifth in the Big Ten and No. 31 nationally.
HAWKEYE EVENT WINNERS
Iowa has shared or won 17 individual events this season. Senior Clair Kaji has won five event titles, junior Lauren Guerin has four wins, and Iowa City native Adeline Kenlin has three wins. Sophomore JerQuavia Henderson has a two victories, while junior Alex Greenwald and senior Emma Hartzler 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 on floor 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 and 9.875. She was award 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
Five Hawkeyes currently are in the Iowa record books. They are as follows:
• JerQuavia Henderson – t1st – 9.975 – Floor
• JerQuavia Henderson -t9th- 9.925- vault
• Clair Kaji – t2nd – 9.950 – Beam
• Adeline Kenlin – t2nd – 9.950 – Beam
• Lauren Guerin – t4th – 9.950 – Floor
• Allyson Steffensmeier – 6th – 9.925 – Uneven Bars
• Lauren Guerin – t9th – 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
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 will travel to Lincoln to face No. 35 Nebraska on March 14. This will be the final meet of the regular season prior to the Big Ten Championships. Action is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.