The 18th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will travel to Minneapolis for the 2021 Big Ten Championships inside Maturi Pavilion. Iowa will be competing in the evening session against No. 16 Illinois, No. 3 Michigan and No. 7 Minnesota. Action is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. (CT). A limited number of fans will be allowed in accordance with local health guidelines and restrictions.
• Saturday’s meet will be streamed live on the Big Ten Network and through the FOX Sports app. Dean Linke and Olivia Karas will be on the call.
• 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 (10-1 overall) is ranked 18th in the Road to Nationals rankings with an average score of 196.713. 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 leads the Big Ten and is ranked No. 3 on floor with a 49.394 average. Lauren Guerin and JerQuavia Henderson are both ranked No.11 nationally and are third in the Big Ten on floor with an average of 9.889. Iowa set the program record with a 49.600 against Maryland on Feb. 13.
• The Hawkeyes are fourth in the Big Ten and 18th nationally on vault and 22nd in the country on uneven bars.
• Iowa freshman Adeline Kenlin is ranked No. 8 nationally on beam with a 9.894 average.
• Iowa has earned nine Big Ten weekly honors this season, the most for the program in school history. Adeline Kenlin earned her fourth honor on March 15, while Clair Kaji (3 honors) and Lauren Guerin (2) have also been multiple award winners.
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.
FOUR HAWKEYES EARN ALL-BIG TEN HONORS
Senior Clair Kaji, junior Lauren Guerein, sophomore JerQuavia Henderson and freshman Adeline Kenlin earned All-Big Ten recognition for the 2021 season. Kaji, Henderson, and Kenlin were named first-team selections, while Guerin was a second-team honoree. It is the first time since 2001 the Hawkeyes have had three first team honorees.
• Kaji is the first Hawkeye since Houry Gebeshian (2009-11) to earn three All-Big Ten recognitions. She previously earned first-team selection in 2018 and second-team honoree in 2017. She is the ninth Iowa gymnast to earn multiple first-team honorees.
• Guerin earned her second straight All-Big Ten recognition. She was first-team All-Big Ten selection as a sophomore. Henderson and Kenlin both received their first All-Big Ten honor.
KENLIN EARNS 4TH B1G HONOR
Freshman Adeline Kenlin was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week — her fourth weekly honor of the season — on March 15. The Iowa City native earned the award after winning her first career all-around title in Iowa’s road victory at Nebraska on March 14, which posted a season-high team score of 196.825. She posted an overall a score of 39.500 on all-around, which is a high by a GymHawk this season. Kenlin also finished in the top five in all four events. She tied a school record on beam, posting a career-best of 9.975 to take the beam title. Kenlin also tied a career-high on vault with a 9.850 to tie for fourth and tied for fifth on both bars (9.800) and floor (9.875).
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 highests score under Libby — a 196.825– in a victory over No. 35 Nebraska on March 15. The score is the highest since 2004.
• Iowa posted its second-highest score of the season — a 196.800 — in a come-from-behind victory over No. 11 Minnesota on Feb. 6 and followed with a 196.775 against Minnesota and Maryland on Feb.13.
• The Hawkeyes have posted four of the top eight team scores in school history this season.
• 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 & A’s SCHOOL RECORDS
• Sophomore JerQuavia Henderson tied a school record on floor, scoring a 9.975 in Iowa’s tri-meet against Minnesota and Maryland on Feb. 13. 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.
• Freshman Adeline Kenlin tied a school record on beam, scoring a 9.975 against Nebraska on March 14. The Iowa City native received a 10.000 from one judge en route to her career-best score. Kenlin tied Janna Alexandrova for the school record, which she set once in 2001 and tied in 2002.
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.
B1G WEEKLY HONOREES
• Freshman Adeline Kenlin earned her fourth the Big Ten Freshman of the week on March 15 after posting a 39.500 on her all-around debut. She tied for the school record on beam after scoring a 9.975. She finished in the top five on all four events. She earned her third honor on March 1 after posting a pair of career-highs in helping Iowa to the Big Five Meet title. She earned her second honor on Feb. 8 after placing third on the bars and beam posting a 9.85 and 9.875 in the win over No. 11 Minnesota, and her first honor came on Jan. 25 after sharing the bar title and placing third on vault in the win over Ohio State.
• Senior Clair Kaji was the Big Ten Specialist of the Week on March 8 after scoring a 9.925 and sharing the event title of floor and she scored a 9.900 on beam to place second against No. 19 Illinois. Kaji was also honored Feb. 1 after winning floor (9.900) and finishing as runner up on the beam (9.875) and bars (9.725) against Illinois. She received her first honor Jan. 25 after earning a share of beam title and tying a career-high on floor for a second consecutive week in the win over Ohio State.
• 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. She also earned the distinction on Jan. 18 after sharing the floor title at Minnesota after posting a 9.950 for 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
• Adeline Kenlin -t1st- 9.975- Beam
• Clair Kaji – t2nd – 9.950 – Beam
• Lauren Guerin – t4th – 9.950 – Floor
• Allyson Steffensmeier – 6th – 9.925 – Uneven Bars
• Lauren Guerin – t9th – 9.925 – Vault
• JerQuavia Henderson -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).