No. 20 Hawkeyes Post Season-High; Finish 2nd at Big Five Meet

LINCOLN, Neb. – The 20th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team scored a season-high 196.925 to place second in the first session of the Big Five Meet on Friday night inside the Devaney Center.

The Hawkeyes finished second to No. 3 Michigan, who finished with a 197.100, and the team finished in front of No. 23 Illinois (196.825), No. 31 Penn State (196.100) and No. 21 Maryland (194.475).

Senior JerQuavia Henderson tied for the individual title on floor, while freshman Karina Muñoz tied for second in all-around to highlight the team’s effort individually.

Iowa got off to a big start, scoring a 49.400 in its first event with Henderson tying for first place overall after scoring her fourth 9.925 of the season. Linda ZivatAdeline Kenlin and Bailey Libby all tied for sixth place after scoring 9.875s.  Libby’s score was a career high.  Hanna Castillo posted a 9.850 and Muñoz followed with a 9.825.

The GymHawks posted a 49.275 on vault – the team’s second-highest score this season. Gianna MasellaAllison Zuhlke, and Muñoz all finished with a 9.900 to not only tie for third place overall, but also set career highs. Kendall LaPlante tied her season high of 9.825, and Zivat and Henderson both finished with a pair of 9.750s.

The Hawkeyes finished with a 48.9225 with four gymnasts tying or setting season and career highs. Zuhlke tied a season-high 9.850 to tie for fifth place. Marissa Rojas set a career high after posting a, 9.825, to tie for ninth place. Masella finished with a 9.775 to earn a new career high and LaPlante scored a 6.100. Kenlin followed with a 9.700 finish, and Muñoz tied a career high 9.775 as the anchor.

Iowa posted a 49.325 in the final event to set a season-high score. A late lineup change put Muñoz as the anchor. The freshman tied her career high, scoring a 9.900 to tie for third place overall with Henderson, who started off the event and also tied her career high. Zuhlke and Kenlin both finished with a pair of 9.850s to tie for 11th overall. Rojas tied her season high with a 9.825 and Alexa Ebeling finished with a 9.725 to help give the GymHawks their fifth-best score in program history.

All Around 
For the second time this season, Muñoz competed in all-around.  The freshman tied for second place after scoring a career-high 39.400. This marks her second top-three finish in the event.


“We just went back to doing what we do, and that reflected in our score. I am so proud of how the girls competed today. We were dialed in and the fire was there. I don’t even think we knew what else was going on in the gym. I am so proud of how a lot of the younger gymnasts stepped up tonight. Hanna Castillo started us off on the first event, and then Bailey Libby followed. We went into vault thinking how can we top that energy, but then Gianna Masella started off with a 9.900 and totally changed the momentum for the rest of meet. The fans who showed out tonight were amazing, and it just gives me goosebumps to talk about what happened tonight.”

Up Next  
The Hawkeyes will return to action March 4, hosting an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series meet against Iowa State. The competition is set to start at 5 p.m. (CT) and will be aired on B1G+ (subscription needed). The meet will be used to shine light on Cancer Awareness, and after the meet, the seniors will be recognized.