Adeline Kenlin competes on beam for Iowa.

LIVE BLOG: No. 18 Iowa at No. 15 Minnesota

This dual will kick off conference play for the Hawkeyes and Gophers, and it could be a close matchup. Remember that in the Big Ten, conference win-loss records determine championship seeding, so starting this weekend, winning matters!

The Hawkeyes fielded a Yurchenko layout—a 9.750 start value—last week, while sorting out lineups without JerQuavia Henderson, who has stepped away from college gymnastics, and the injured Allison Zuhlke. Still, strong performances on the other three landed Iowa a solid 196.400 opening score. Karina Muñoz and Adeline Kenlin led the way on vault and bars and beam and floor, respectively. Former five-star recruit Eva Volpe also competed in the all around, with solid numbers across all four.

The Gophers, meanwhile, have put up two mid- to high-196 numbers so far. Mya Hooten has already nabbed a 10.0 on floor. Brooklyn Rowray was also nearly perfect on beam, but is currently injured. We haven’t yet seen a counting routine from former three-star recruit Jenna Olshefski, who was in a boot during preseason, but if she is back she should be a balm for Rowray’s loss on beam.Karina Muñoz is dealing with managing a late postseason injury, per Liv Karas on the broadcast, so she’ll be out of the floor lineup tonight.

Rotation 1: Minnesota vault, Iowa bars

Jencks (Minn.): Yfull, hop back, bent arms on the table and a little pike down. 9.775

Volpe (Iowa): Short handstand. Blind to pike Jaeger, lost her momentum and had to re-kip. Pak to slight arch. Bent arms on her last handstand. DLO, deep knees, hop forward. 9.15

Nguyen (Minn.): Yfull, closed hips, big step back and to the side, little offline in the air. 9.775

Rojas (Iowa): Toe hand bent arms to Gienger, soft knees on the catch. Leg sep on bail hand. FTDB, dropped her chest fully, swam her arms, didn’t move her feet. 9.7

Pearl (Minn.): Yfull, big, hop back. 9.825

Masella (Iowa): Blind to Jeager, little off balance in the air. Slight arch on bail handstand. DLO, deep chest but held her feet. 9.85

Moraw (Minn.): Yfull, very high, step back. 9.825

Juk (Iowa): Short handstand. Toe hand to Maloney. Massive leg sep on Pak. Blind full, late, to stuck double tuck. Best landing yet. 9.825, that feels high.

Gerdes (Minn.) Y1.5, good distance but a little low, step forward. 9.85

Muñoz (Iowa): Pike Jaeger, high but a little wild on the catch. Nice Pak, some foot form on the catch. Clear hip hand to DLO, hop back. 9.75

Hooten (Minn.): Y1.5, Hips and knees, but true stick. 9.95, I’d go 9.9 but I get it.

Kenlin (Iowa): Toe hand to Maloney, leg sep on the back swing. Nice Pak to switch kip. Toe full, late, to stuck double tuck. 9.9

Vanney (Iowa, ex.): Toe hand to Maloney, leg sep. Pak with a little more leg sep. Late short pirouette. Short last handstand. DLO, chest forward but held her feet. 9.65

After 1: Minnesota 49.225, Iowa 49.025

That’s a nice vault rotation from this new-look Gopher squad. The Gerdes and Hooten 10.0 starts were not as crisp as we know they can be, so good room to grow at the end of the lineup. The fulls are largely good, too. Iowa had some issues, but what a solid recovery after starting with the miss from Volpe. Once she settles in, she’ll be such a highlight. Her lines and toe point are really nice.

Vault will be a test for the Hawkeyes; we’ll see if they can put up at least all 9.95 start values this week.

Rotation 2: Minnesota bars, Iowa vault

Castillo (Iowa): Yfull, hip angle throughout, hop forward and to the side, over the guide line. 9.8

Jencks (Minn.): Ray, nice to clear hip hand immediate bail hand, short of vertical. DLO, hop back. 9.7, must’ve been hit pretty hard on the short bail.

Chambers (Iowa): Yfull, good distance, bit low, dropped her chest but held her feet. 9.8

Nguyen (Minn.): Arched handstand. Blind to Jaeger, little off balance, bail was clean. DLO, deep knees and a step forward. Bent her knees at the bottom of both giants. 9.725

Karenbauer (Iowa): Yfull, huge in the air, big hop back. 9.65. It was a really big hop.

Sirjord (Minn.): Blind to high straddle Jaeger immediate bail. Blind full, touch late, step back on her double tuck. Some arm bend in her cast handstands throughout. 9.825

Volpe (Iowa): Yfull, some hip angle into the ground, small hop back. 9.775

Lyden (Minn.): Maloney, good backswing form, bail hand nice. Short last handstand. DLO, deep knees and dropped her chest but held her feet. 9.85

Kenlin (Iowa): Yfull, huge distance, and a huge hop back. About the same as the size of Karenbauer’s. 9.65, yeah, pretty identical vaults.

Gerdes (Minn.): Maloney perfect form to slightly short bail hand. Arched last handstand. FTDB, step back. 9.825, that’s interesting. I would say at least as strong as Lyden’s set.


z: (Iowa): Yfull, huge, flared. Hop in place on the landing. 9.85 (my keyboard is really struggling with diacritics today, my apologies).

Hooten (Minn.): Blind to pike Jaeger immediate bail, clean there. FTDB, chest forward and swum her arms on the landing. 9.85

Masella (Iowa, ex.): Yfull, bit flat, landed chest down and bounced up in the air. That’s an upgrade, she was the layout last week. Getting there! 9.65

Swartzmiller (Minn. ex.): Short handstand. Blind to pike Jaeger, knees. Bail hand, short. Blind full, late, to double tuck step back. 9.65

After 2: Minnesota 98.300, Iowa 97.900

Landings landings landings! Both teams struggled with them. Iowa overpowered some of those vaults, and the Gophers just couldn’t quite drop landings in. The good news for both teams: its a fixable problem.

Rotation 3: Minnesota beam, Iowa floor

Koch (Minn.): Bhs loso, broe at the hips and falls, bent trailing leg in both skills. Beat to split 3/4, another fall. She’s just off today. Liukin, nice. RO 3/2, small step back. Minnesota is now in Iowa’s shoes from the first rotation, time to focus and dial in. 8.525

Ebeling (Iowa): Double pike, little too much juice and had to adjust her her back foot. Nice ring positions in her leaps. RO 3/2 front pike, true stick there. Double tuck, little short, lunged forward. 9.675

Pearl (Minn.): Bhs loso, scooted her front foot a bit but it was subtle. Slight correction in the shoulders on her full turn. Switch to straddle 1/4, switch was short. Front aerial to beat, solid. Bhs gainer full stuck. Soft knees in the bhs. 9.775

Volpe (Iowa): Some pressure here too after that lower score from Ebeling. Front lay rudi, bit short of the rotation and a low chest. Karas saw bent knees too. Tour jete half to Popa, little off balance in the air on the Popa. Double pike, low chest. 9.75

Horak (Minn.): Bhs loso, deduction-free. Pike to straddle half, she’s so patient hitting those positions. Little correction on her beat to loso. Check on the full turn. Bhs gainer full, good landing. 9.875

Erb (Iowa): Double pike, lunged forward. Switch side half straddle, nice positions. RO 3/2 to tucked barani. That was meant to be a front full, but she was so high on the 3/2 that she kind of missed the punch and had to adjust. That will likely impact the SV, but I’m not certain. 9.7, with a 9.9 SV.

Sirjord (Minn.): Candle mount. Bhs loso, bent arms in the bhs but solid. Switch to double stag, not the most head release. Bhs gainer full, good landing. 9.875

Libby (Iowa): FHS 2/1, bit bouncy on the landing, nothing huge. RO 3/2 front lay, danced right out. She didn’t have quite as much rise as I’d look for on the lay. Clean through her leaps. FHS rudi, little messy in the air. 9.825

Lyden (Minn.): Candle mount, good control. Wolf turn double, nice. Bhs loso, slight check in her hips. Hitch kick to switch side, missed the 180. RO 3/2, hop forward and dropped her chest. 9.775

Kenlin (Iowa): FHS 2/1, some leg cross in the air. Switch to tour jete ring 1/1, really nice, what a unique leap series. RO 3/2 front lay, ground surprised her a little but good recovery. 9.875

Gerdes (Minn.): Front aerial, broke at the hips. Resets, bhs loso, good there. She didn’t need that triple connection for SV, so that’s fine. Straddle to double stag, check there. She’s just showing nerves. Bhs gainer full, bent arms in the bhs. 9.725

Castillo (Iowa): Oh this choreography is so engaging. She performs it really well. Front through double pike, good landing. Switch side half straddle to Shushunova, nice. Double tuck, little deep in the knees but held a stick. 9.875

Hooten (Minn., ex.): Bhs loso, leg up check and a fall, and she’s mad at herself for it. Front toss and a second fall. Cat to switch side, leg up check but stays on this time. RO 3/2 step back. Her journey to the AA will take a little longer.

After 3: Minnesota 147.325, Iowa 146.925

Minnesota showed some nerves there with the Koch fall in the leadoff. That’s a lot of pressure, and the cracks showed a bit for a few gymnasts. Horak and Sirjord were absolute highlights. Iowa had a few endurance issues early in the lineup, but the back half was very strong. With matching 49.025s, Minnesota’s lead remains the same as we head to the final rotation.

Rotation 4: Minnesota floor, Iowa beam

BTN really needs to have a sit down with SECN producers to talk about how to speed these duals up. This rotation break feels ETERNAL.

Pearl’s beam score was raised to a 9.875, that could’ve been the delay. I stand by what I said!

Volpe (Iowa): Bhs loso, solid. Switch to straddle 1/4, short and dropped her chest. Cat to front aerial, solid there, with a smirk. RO tuck 3/2, brought her chest forward but held her feet. 9.775

Jencks (Minn.): Leading off three events phew, get it. Punch front 2/1, short of rotation and a little uncontrolled out. Switch half Popa, cheated the rotation a smidge. RO 3/2 front lay, nice there. Rudi to close, again a little uncontrolled out of it. 9.825

Ebeling (Iowa): Bhs loso, soft knees, slight check in her shoulders. Clean side aerial. Switch to split to split 3/4, wow. Gainer pike off the end, hop back. 9.7, 9.9 SV (leap connection issue)

Pearl (Minn.): RO 3/2 front lay, really powerful. Switch side half to straddle half, nice. Double pike, good landing, Karas says she slid the front foot back a bit. 9.875

Rojas (Iowa): Long wait for Ebeling’s score. She might have adjusted a foot in the middle of her leaps, I’m wondering if there’s a CV question. Okay, here we go. Bhs bhs loso, solid as can be. Switch switch to split, little low back leg on all of them. Gainer full off the side, deep knees. 9.875

Johnson (Minn.): Wolf 3/2, phew! Good shape. Front full Rudi, nice. Strong in her leaps. Double tuck, hops right into the lunge. That’s a great routine. 9.9, not mad.

Munoz (Iowa): Switch to switch half to beat. Nice 180s, even in the half. Bhs loso, front foot adjustment, good cover. Bhs gainer full, scooted around a little but didn’t move her feet. 9.9, also not mad.

Koch (Minn.): A test after her tough beam set. FHS 2/1, big, bit of a large lunge out. Tour jete half wolf full, juuuuuust got the wolf around. RO 3/2 front lay, good. FHS rudi, nice there. Good for her! 9.875

Juk (Iowa): RO bhs mount, solid. Bhs bhs loso, took a few steps on the beam, but stayed on. Switch to beat, weight was a little bit in her heels but she sold it. Full twisting bhs, perfection and she milked the landing. Cartwheel gainer full, small hop. 9.775

Gerdes (Minn.): Front through to double tuck, I think she picked her front foot up a bit. Short on all three of her leaps. Double pike, short and hopped forward. 9.825

Kenlin (Iowa): Switch to split 3/4, nice. Bhs loso, check with a leg up slightly. Hitch kick to side aerial, solid. Cartwheel gainer full, got the stick. 9.85

Hooten (Minn.): Full-in to a stick. Switch side Popa cheated the rotation per her usual. Lost her balance in the corner into a solid combination pass. Double tuck, scooted her front foot a bit. 9.95

FINAL: Minnesota 196.850, Iowa 196.100

A really strong showing for Minnesota even with some things to clean up. Iowa will also be happy to see a 196 on the board with some mistakes. Plenty of time to fix endurance issues and clean up wobbliness before we get to postseason.

VT: Hooten, 9.950
UB: Kenlin, 9.900
BB: Munoz, 9.900
FX: Hooten, 9.950
AA: Kenlin, 39.275

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Live blog by Emily Minehart

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