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GymHawks set to compete in the Big Ten Quad Meet

BY JORDAN BUCHER | MARCH 14, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa women’s gymnastics team (1-9, 0-4) will compete in its first Big Ten Quad Meet on Saturday — a new addition to the schedule this year. Each Big Ten team will compete in one of two meets. The Hawkeyes will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to take on No. 7 Michigan, No. 12 Minnesota, and No. 19 Penn State at 12:30 p.m. Michigan State will host Illinois, Nebraska, and Ohio State in the other meet on Saturday.

The Big Ten Quad Meet will serve as a precursor to the Big Ten championships, scheduled for March 22. The Big Ten meet will divide the teams into two sessions based on the results from the Quad Meet. The top two teams from both events on Saturday will compete in the stronger of the two sessions at the conference championships.

“This is the only way to make this work with so many teams,” head coach Larissa Libby said. “How are you going to have one competition to determine the Big Ten champion with 10 teams? It’s not going to happen with all of [the teams] being on the floor.

I think this is the fairest way we can come up with to determine which session we qualify for in the Big Ten championships.”

In addition to this, the Quad Meets allow another advantage to the Big Ten teams — the largest conference in women’s gymnastics — by opening the schedule for more outside competition.

“It helps us in the fact that you’re supposed to meet all Big Ten teams [in a season],” Libby said. “If we do that, we will suck up our entire schedule only seeing Big Ten competition, which is not good. We have to see outside competition because the best in the nation are currently outside the Big Ten.”

The GymHawks will enter this weekend 0-4 in the Big Ten, having lost to Nebraska, Illinois, Michigan State, and Ohio State.

Sophomore Alie Glover is looking forward to the Quad Meet because it will give the Hawkeyes a chance to see where they stack up in the Big Ten. So far this season, the Hawkeyes have only competed in dual meets. Glover said the larger format of this meet should be “fun,” but she recognizes the added challenge it brings.

“This meet will help get us ready for the [Big Ten championships] since we aren’t going straight into next week not having had a meet with more than one or two other teams, but [this meet] will be a lot more hectic, because there won’t be a waiting time between events and everyone is [competing] at once.

In a way, I think it could be better for us, but we have to learn to focus more in that setting because it will be a lot more distracting.”

Glover is not the only one excited for this meet. Freshman all-arounder Angel Metcalf said she is more than ready for this weekend.

“I am super excited going into this meet,” said Metcalf, who has helped anchor the team in the all-around this season. “They are all nationally ranked teams; it will be a huge arena, lots of people there to keep the energy up, and that will all be really good for us.”


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