GymHawks finish fifth at Auburn Regional


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The Iowa women’s gymnastics team finished fifth among the six teams at the Auburn NCAA Regional on April 4, scoring 194.475. Iowa failed to advance to the NCAA finals, marking an end to the team’s season.

The GymHawks needed to finish in the top two to advance to the NCAA finals on April 17, but mistakes in the floor exercise doomed them from the start.

“It was unfortunate that we began on the floor with mistakes that we couldn’t recover from,” head coach Larissa Libby said in a release. “However, I don’t wish for this day to define their season.”

The poor showing on the floor stalled the Hawkeyes’ chances of advancing past the regional action. As a team, they scored a meet-low 47.725 in what statistically had been their strongest event all season.

Sophomore Ashleigh Edlin scored just a 9.075, and freshman Melissa Zurawski added a lowly 8.250. Even senior Sydney Hoerr struggled, scoring an unusually low 9.350 by her standards.

The GymHawks came in averaging 49.007 on the floor, with Hoerr pacing the lineup at 9.868.

Oddly enough, the team’s top performance came on its worst event — scoring 49.125 on the balance beam. That was good for third.

Had they not collapsed on the floor exercise, their beam score would have put them in a great position.

No. 5 Alabama finished in first with a score of 197.575, and No. 8 Auburn was close behind at 196.900. They were the competition’s two top-seeded teams.

Despite being seeded fifth, Maryland finished third with a score of 195.150. No. 17 Minnesota ended in fourth at 195.025, and George Washington came in last.

For Hoerr, Johanny Sotillo, and Caitlin Tanzer, the regional brought an end to their Iowa careers.

The Hawks did, however, see success at the individual level, as five gymnasts placed in the top 15 for individual events. Sophomore Mollie Drenth scored 9.825 on the uneven bars to finish ninth, and Sotillo and sophomore Angel Metcalf tied for 12th after posting scores of 9.8.

In individual all-around competition, Metcalf posted 39.175 to take fifth-place. Drenth came in eighth with 39.050, and Hoerr finished in 13th after posting 38.250.

The lackluster performance caps a season that saw the team ranked in the top-25 for the first time since 2011. They ranked as high as No. 23 coming into the regional.

“This team has had an amazing season, and for that I will always be proud,” Libby said in a release “We will go back, and I promise you we will be stronger next year.”

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