Muñoz Shines at Big Five

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA. – The University of Iowa gymnastics team posted a team score of 196.225 on Saturday evening inside of Rec Hall, defeating No. 30 Maryland and finishing fourth overall in the meet.

No. 11 Michigan finished in first place with a 197.500 followed by No. 21 Illinois (196.850) and No. 22 Penn State (196.775). The GymHawks finished in front of 30th-ranked Maryland (195.100).

Sophomore Karina Muñoz led the way for the Hawkeyes, delivering an outstanding all-around performance scoring a career-high 39.550 and finishing third in the all-around. The New Jersey native had two second place finishes on bars and beam. Junior Ilka Juk took home the beam title, scoring a near-perfect 9.925.


The GymHawks posted a 49.325 in the floor rotation. Pennsylvania native Alyse Karenbauer started the meet off strong for the Hawkeyes, earning a 9.850. Hanna Castillo continued the momentum posting a 9.875 and matching her season best. Reigning Co-Big Ten Freshman of the Week, Eva Volpe, had a strong floor routine earning a 9.725. Muñoz added another 9.875 to the board for Iowa. Emily Erb had posted the best score of the night on floor for Iowa securing a 9.900. Bailey Libby provided another strong performance in the anchor position scoring a 9.825.


In the third rotation of the meet, the Hawkeyes posted a team score of 48.975 on vault. Avery Chambersbegan the rotation for Iowa and recorded a 9.800. Sophomore Gianna Masella and Volpe each registered a 9.800 on the apparatus. Muñoz, in the anchor position, landed a 9.825 to close out the event for Iowa.


The GymHawks recorded a team score of 48.575 on bars. Muñoz led the way for Iowa in the anchor position, sticking a career high 9.950. Masella added a 9.825 to the board for the Hawkeyes, and Volpe posted a 9.775.


In their final event of the evening, Iowa recorded a team score of 49.350 on the beam. Volpe, in the leadoff position, posted a solid 9.825. Juk landed an impressive routine scoring a 9.925, surpassing her previous season high. Senior Aubrey Nick and junior Marissa Rojas added back-to-back 9.850s for the Hawkeyes. Muñoz ended the rotation by sticking a near perfect routine, scoring a 9.900.


“Karina has proven that she is a great competitor, but tonight she was the catalyst, the burst of energy that came at exactly the right time.  I was so happy to see her gymnastics rewarded as she pretty much does the same thing week in and week out. Tonight the judges saw the “something special” that we’ve seen all along! I am Incredibly proud of her and really the entire team.”


The GymHawks will travel to Sacramento, Calif. to face Sacramento State on Sunday, March 3. Action inside of The Nest will begin at 3 p.m. CT.