LIVE BLOG: No. 42 Iowa at No. 35 Maryland

It’s a Thursday treat— Big Ten meet to enjoy before the SEC Friday madness is upon us, and this should be a good one. Maryland stunned Penn State last weekend, topping the Nittany Lions with a 195.550. The Terps have two strong freshmen—Audrey Barber and Karrie Thomas—who have made an immediate impact. Their combined seven scores, plus veteran all arounders Alicia Farina and Kirsten Peterman, have given the Terps renewed energy and the potential to better last year’s 10th-place conference finish.

With a hit meet, Maryland can challenge an Iowa team that has struggled early this season. The Hawkeyes started the year with two scores in the 193s before hitting a 195.725 last weekend in their home opener. However, they lost reliable three-eventer Clair Kaji to a potential Achilles tear before floor. Without Kaji’s three consistent 9.800s, can the Hawkeyes put up a meet to contend with the Terps? If they’re going to be successful, they’ll need to eliminate consistency issues and perhaps rely on more freshmen routines than they have so far this season. That said, Iowa has yet to fall to a Big Ten opponent, so expect the Hawkeyes to put up a fight.

Injury report: Clair Kaji (Iowa) has been in a boot and on a scooter since last weekend.

We’re learning about basketball while we wait for this meet to get going. Purdue is a team in the Big Ten, which I forget because does any team without gymnastics really count? (Sorry Boilermakers.)

Okay, good, now we’re in a gym with mats on the ground. HERE WE GO. Oh! Alina Weinstein is commentating. Weinstein was an Illinois great, and she did an excellent job commentating Big Tens last year.

Clair Kaji confirmed out, per Weinstein.

Maryland in the very sparkley flag leos. One of my favorites!

Rotation 1: Maryland vault; Iowa bars

Kirsten Peterman (MD): FTY, some knees, little slide on the landing. 9.725

Lanie Snyder (Iowa): Hect mount. blind + pikedJaeger good, bail. Short last handstand giant full double back. Nice, just a hop back, tiny.

Emma Johnson (MD): FTY, high, but pops up the landing. Mid-sized hop. 9.7

Nicole Chow (Iowa): Late switch in the lineup per Weinstein. Ray, pak, nice. Short last handstand, giant full + double back, stuck. Gorgeous toes. Her first bars all year. Making an argument for Kaji’s spot there.

Collea Burgess (MD): FTY HUGE, big step back, but great vault in the air. 9.725

Maria Ortiz (Iowa): Toe handstand + bail hand, nice. Short handstand Tkatchev. Double lay some toes and a step. Short handstands are becoming a theme.

Morgan Bixler (MD): Pretyy FTY, tried to stick but had to take a step. Best form in the air yet.

Iowa scores not coming in the stats. Will update when they show up!

Melissa Zurawski (Iowa): Hect mount. Perfect handstand, thank you, Giant full Geinger, bail handstand. Solid. Giant full double tuck, fights for the stick but has to take a small step. That’s a much better set for the Hawkeyes.

Audrey Barber (MD): FTY, little off line, tiny hop. Very high, though. 9.725, hit for the hop.

Emma Hartzler (Iowa): Hect mount. Blind + piked Jaeger, really far out, blind + straddle back. Giant full double tuck, sticks but low chest. 9.775

Alecia Farina (MD): FTY, some bend in the hips and a step to the side. 9.725

Charlotte Sullivan (Iowa): Pretty toes. Ray, toe handstand bail handstand, lovely. Great handstand, giant full double back, teeny tiny hop. Really nice routine. 9.875

Deanna Magro (MD – exhibition): FTY, not super high, but good distance and the smallest hop of the bunch. That could make lineups.

Madison Kampschroeder (Iowa – exhibition): Ray, georgous lines, pak, short last handstand, double lay, some legs in the air and a hop. She has some little knee things throughout, but could definitely step into lineups and be a usable score.

Those early scores we missed for Iowa: Chow, 9.825. Ortiz, 9.775. Snyder, 9.75.

Maryland: 48.675; Iowa: 49.05

That was an excellent start for Iowa, even without Kaji in the lineup. The early half will want to focus on handstands, and as the season progresses those steps and hops will need to be cleaned up, but for a January meet it was a great rotation. Maryland was done in by hops. The Terps’ FTYs are pretty dynamic and tight, but those landings need some work. Again, though, it’s only January.

Rotation 2: Maryland bars; Iowa vault

Chow (Iowa): FTY, some knees and a bend in the hips, but great landing. Good leadoff. 9.7

Emilie LeBlanc (MD): Freshman leading off; love to see that. Nice handstand, blind + Jaeger with toes, bail. Good last handstand, double lay, tiny hop. Toes throughout, but solid start. 9.775

Misty-Jade Carlson (Iowa): FTY, straight body, tiny hop. One of the best yet for either team. 9.75

Evelyn Nee (MD): Blind Jaeger, nice. pak, some toes. Short last handstand, full-in step back. Nice. 9.725

Zurawski (Iowa): FTY, hops straight up. 9.7

Peterman (MD): Blind Jaeger, knees, but good amplitude. Bail handstand. Double lay, stuck cold. That should score well. 9.85, deserved.

Sullivan (Iowa): Yhalf, lovely body position, tiny hop. She does that very well. 9.8

Karrie Thomas (MD): Short handstand, blind Jaeger. Bail handstand, little off. Double lay stuck. Maryland is picking up momentum. Very nice! 9.8

Ortiz (Iowa): FTY, nearly stuck, tries to hold it, slides a foot. Good body position in the air. 9.825

Barber (MD): Clear hip hand, Hindorff, bail. double lay, some pike, moved a foot on the landing. 9.775

Nikki Youd (Iowa): Yhalf, hands very high on the table and has to hop forward, but great form and body. 9.775

Farina (MD): Blind Jaeger, nice. Bail handstand, good. Double lay, small hop. Solid routine. 9.75, probably hit for lack of amplitude comparatively.

Snyder (Iowa – exhibition): FTY, late twist and has to pike down, but that’s definitely a backup routine.

Megan McClelland (MD – exhibition): Short first handstand, big Tkatchev, clear hip hand, bail hand, pretty toes! Double lay, very pikey, hop back.

Maryland: 48.95; Iowa: 48.85

Running total: Maryland: 97.625; Iowa: 97.9

Note that Maryland just put up six E level bar dismounts. That’s pretty outstanding, and they were all performed very well. Some little details in handstands and form are still lacking, but two complete sticks in January is an accomplishment. Maryland will be happy with that rotation. Iowa also put up a solid six on vault. Landings continue to be a question, but those can be cleaned up. The Hawkeyes have a good base to work from.

Side note: we’re halfway through and have a 100% hit meet so far – I’m knocking on wood don’t worry.

Rotation 3: Maryland beam, Iowa floor

Peterman (MD): She moves quickly with a lot of focus. Wolf turn 1.5, solid. Side somi, tiny bobble covers it. Bhs loso some back knee but solid as a rock. Cat leap switch 1/2, little low back leg. FO 1.5, small hop. Great leadoff! 9.7

Youd (Iowa): Double tuck, slightly uncontrolled step they could take. Tour jete + split full, solid. Fhs front lay front full, no problems. She seems calmer now, smiling. Fhs rudi, really nice. Good start. 9.725

Burgess (MD): Quick, snappy movements for her. Gainer front toss + bhs, really nice! Side somi. Split + wolf 3/4, could get a bigger split there. Front full, big hop. Nice! She was a last minute lineup addition, but I think we’ll see her again. 9.675

Chow (Iowa): Double tuck, very high. RO 1.5 front pike, solid, huge grin. Tour jete 1/2 + split 1/1 + straddle. She travelled really far on the tour jete, lost momentum. Double pike, low chest big step forward. Like seeing the pike last. 9.65

Thomas (MD): Bhs loso, solid, smiling before she landed. Side aerial, solid again. She looks comfortable. Switch + switch + split, really nice. Bhs 1.5, stuck! That is an excellent routine from the freshman. 9.775

Sullivan (Iowa): Front through to a 2.5, steps almost out but saves it. Double tuck, some feet but nice landing. She performs this routine really well. Crisp. Missed her leap series while enjoying her dance! But a solid landing on the final straddle jump. Great two pass routine. 9.8

LeBlanc (MD): Switch split, back tuck, so solid. Bhs loso, no wobble at all. Front aerial + split, dropped a shoulder on the connection. She DANCES on the beam. RO 1.5, tiny little hop. 9.725

Zurawski (Iowa): Really dramatic dance to start. Double pike, flexed feet. Fhs front full front lay, great. She’s really dancing this routine. Switch side + popa, good. Fhs rudi, nice twisting position. 9.85, deserved score.

Farina (MD): Bhs loso beat jump, nice. No movement. Switch + straddle, not the best split on the straddle. Side aerial beat jump, slow connection. RO 1.5, hop to the side, nice overall! 9.7

Snyder (Iowa): This is one of my favorite NCAA routines. Rock medley, and she ROCKS it. Front through to double back. Fhs front lay front full, nice, little lacking amplitude. Switch 1/1 + popa. Double pike, excellent landing. That will score well. 9.9!

Barber (MD): Freshman beam anchor, I love it. Bhs loso, just as solid as the rest of the team, Front toss + split, drops a shoulder just slightly. Switch + huge straddle. RO double STUCK. That was excellent. 9.825

Gina Leal (Iowa): She’s grinning from the start. Fhs double full, really nice! Love to see an E pass. Switch side popa, nice. Round off 1.5 + punch front, and she sits it, that’s a shame. Fhs rudi, nice finish. 8.925

Magro (MD – exhibition): Bhs loso, some knees but solid. Handstand loso, nice. She’s a little tight. Switch + straddle 3/4. Cartwheel, didn’t connect to dismount. Gainer full. She covered the mistake well.

Breanna Fitzke (Iowa – exhibition): Double pike, flexed feet, but good landing. Fhs front full front pike, good landing. She is very into the choreo. Tour jete 1/2 popa, nice. Ro 1.5  front lay, solid. She made her case for the lineup!

Maryland: 48.725; Iowa: 48.925

Running total: Maryland: 146.35; Iowa: 146.825

That was a FUN rotation. If you get to watch Maryland beam or Iowa floor this season, I recommend it. Maryland had maybe one wobble. In the entire lineup. The whole team attacked beam, moved with confidence, and nailed acro landings. The Terps should be proud of that lineup! Iowa is always fun on floor, and this year is no exception. The Hawkeyes dance and perform very well. Both teams have small errors to clean up, but this is an impressive meet so far. Side note: Maryland put up two sophomores and four freshmen in that lineup.

My apologies to Iowa for cursing the 100% hit status.

Rotation 4: Maryland floor; Iowa beam

Rose Piorkowski (Iowa): Bhs loso loso! Triple series in the leadoff! Solid. Now she’s smiling. Cat leap + switch side. Ro 1.5, stuck! What a leadoff. 9.825, yep. That’s the leadoff you want.

Peterman (MD): She looks so focused. Double pike, her set is excellent. Now she’s more relaxed, smiling. RO 1.5 punch barani shushenova, really nice. FHS rudi, little shy of the full 1.5 but covers it. 9.75

Syndey Hogan (Iowa): bhs loso, nice. Split beat jump tuck 3/4 drops her chest a bit. Hitch kick + aerial + full, low chest, but nice and solid. 9.775

McClelland (MD): Pretty attitude full turn to start. She looks so calm. Double pike, some feet, little low chest. Front lay front full, nice. Switch side + popa, great split. RO 1.5 front lay, nice in the air. Good routine. 9.7

Sullivan (Iowa): She has very crisp movement. Front aerial bhs, nice. Switch half beat jump. Side somi no problems. RO double twist, stuck, great routine. 9.825

Johnson (MD): Double pike, little too much and bounces with her chest down, I think stayed in, but that was probably a .3 error. FHS front lay front full, some knees. Switch side popa, no problems. FHS rude, lost her timing and fell forward, hands down. Just a little off throughout. 8.85

Having an issue with Sullivan’s beam score…long wait. Alright, 9.825, here we go.

Breanna Fitzke (Iowa): She moves calmly. Overdoes a full turn but covers it perfectly. Bhs loso, chest low and turns to the side. Switch  beat straddle 1/4. Little unsteady. Side aerial and she’s off. She was looking tight throughout, it felt inevitable. RO 1.5, hop forward. 9.0

Thomas (MD): Performing this routine right from the start, nice. Double pike, sky high, great landing. Tour jete 1/2 popa, solid. FHS front full, front lay, one foot slides forward. Team screams LET’S GO TERPS, that’s fun. Double tuck, super high again! Great tumbling in that routine. 9.825

Youd (Iowa): She seems confident, moving quickly. Front aerial bhs loso. Love to see another triple series. Switch split beat jump. Looked a tiny bit off on the switch but covered really well. Cartwheel gainer full off the side, small hop. She gets great height on the gainer, not dumpy like those can be. 9.85

Farina (MD): Double pike, solid. RO 1.5 front lay, some knees, but good landing. Double tuck to finish, high but a little short on the landing. She has great amplitude. 9.85

Chow (Iowa): Bhs layout to two feet, pretty knees and toes, SOLID. Side aerial split, nice. Switch half + split, little shy on the back leg. Gainer pike off the end, stuck with a little fight. Really nice routine. 9.9, deserved.

Barber (MD): We closing with a freshman! Fitting for this meet. Full in, some leg sep, but great amplitude! 1.5 + front pike, nice. Tour jete + popa, high jumps! She could perform a little more, but that’s being picky. Double back, great height. Excellent routine! 9.875

Snyder (Iowa – exhibition): She’s working toward the all around. Switch + split, nice. Side arial loso, and she’s off. Ah, that’s a fun series though. Side aerial full dismount, stuck. Hope she can get that series and get in the lineup, because it’s a fun routine.

Burgess (MD – exhibition): Performs from the first beat of music, love it. Triple twist, maybe out and some knees, but great difficulty. Split full tuck full. She DANCES, very nice. Front through to double twist much better form. Rudi to end. That’s a fun routine. If she cleans up the first pass she should break into the lineup.

Maryland: 49.0; Iowa: 49.175

FINAL: Maryland: 195.35; Iowa: 196.0

Phew that was a meet! These are two very prepared and solid teams. Iowa is, off the top of my head, fourth? team in the Big Ten to hit 196, which is excellent, especially since they did it without Kaji. Didn’t miss a beat. Maryland put up an excellent meet. There are little things to clean up, but this is a great starting point, especially considering how many freshmen scores they count on.


VT: Maria Ortia, Iowa. 9.825

UB: Charlotte Sullivan, Iowa. 9.875

BB: Nicole Chow, Iowa. 9.9

FX: Lanie Snyder, Iowa. 9.9

AA: 1. Sullivan, 39.3; Audrey Barber, 39.2; 3. Chow, 39.075


Live blog by Emily Minehart

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