Iowa and Rutgers went neck-and-neck at a Big Ten women’s gymnastics meet on Saturday, with the Scarlet Knights taking a loss by a little under three points. Both teams put up a solid effort and either could have taken the win, but the Hawkeyes slipped past Rutgers in the end. The meet took place at the Carver-Hawkeye arena, making it a home meet for Iowa.
Rutgers still had a good meet, gaining experience for the rest of its season and learning lessons necessary to make changes for the end of the year. The Scarlet Knights ended up with a 191.625 total team score, losing to the home team’s 194.575.
Rutgers scored a 47.900 on bars, with Shannon Farrell hitting a 9.700 to score the team high. The Knights scored a 48.400 on vault, with three gymnasts scoring a 9.700 or higher. Floor and beam ended with team scores of 47.750 and 47.575, respectively.
Rutgers began on bars and all gymnasts hit their routines, beginning the meet strong. Vault was the team’s second rotation and also went well, but the meet then turned sour as the Knights made a few mistakes on floor, lowering some start values below what the team would have liked. On their final event, beam, they sealed the deal with some missed connections and missed bonus combinations. Consistency is one thing this team will need to work on as the season continues.
Although the Scarlet Knights were strong on bars, Iowa was having the better day, scoring a season high of 49.125. Iowa also hit a season high on floor with a 48.900. Iowa picked up all four individual event titles, with Bridget Killian winning vault with a 9.750 and beam with a 9.725, Nicole Chow winning bars with a 9.900 and Lauren Guerin winning floor with a score of 9.875.
The GymHawks also did well on vault, where Charlotte Sullivan hit a season best of 9.650 and both Misty-Jade Carlson and Killian scored a 9.725 or above. More personal bests were scored on bars, where Chow and Jax Kranitz scored personal bests, 9.900 and 9.875, respectively. Clair Kaji and Maddie Kampschroeder both scored a season best, making this bars rotation for Iowa an impressive feat, and making it difficult for Rutgers to compete.
As Rutgers missed connections on beam, Iowa began to take the lead, with Kaji and Mackenzie Vance each scoring a 9.625 or above and Allie Gilchrist and Killian both scoring a 9.700 or higher.
More career highs were made on floor for Iowa, with Guerin tying a high of 9.875 and Killian scoring a career high of 9.800. Kaji hit a season best 9.825 and Sullivan competed floor for the first time this season, as Iowa played with its lineups to get the best possibility. She scored a 9.750, contributing to the team’s season high and possibly securing herself a spot in the floor lineup at upcoming meets.
Iowa and Rutgers both have a long way to go this season, and both have the potential to change their lineups and routines around to make the best fit for their current teams. The matchup this Saturday went favorably for the Hawkeyes, but gymnastics fans will need to keep watching the rest of the season to see where these teams lead, as anything is possible for two teams with such talent and possibility brewing.