NCAA Regional competitions commenced across the nation on Thursday as eight teams nationwide competed in their respective play-in meets with the winner advancing to Friday’s regional competition. In Corvallis, Oregon, the Arizona Wildcats faced the Iowa Hawkeyes, each team looking to advance in the regional competition.  

The Wildcats had the advantage of opening the meet on their strongest event bars, while the Hawkeyes took to vault. A solid 48.975 allowed the Wildcats to take an early lead after rotation one with two impressive scores, a 9.850 from Maddi Leydin and a 9.900 from Danielle Spencer-Bearham. However, Iowa posted a strong 48.800 with all of the five counted scores in the 9.700 range. The deficit the Hawkeyes faced, less than 0.200, ultimately did not discourage the team going into rotation two on bars, one of their stronger events as well.  

Rotation two saw the Hawkeyes gain the lead over the Wildcats when they posted a 48.925 on bars.  This, however, was not the showing Iowa hoped to have on bars because, despite a an impressive 9.900 from Nicole Chow, they ultimately had to count a low 9.575 from Maddie Kampschroeder after Emma Hartzler posted a disappointing 9.200. Regardless, this total was enough to surpass Arizona who posted a 48.675 on vault.

Charlotte Sullivan performs on the balance beam for the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa Athletics

 

The Hawkeyes built on their lead after moving to beam in rotation three and posting another 48.925. This was made possible by two solid 9.825s from Clair Kaji and Chow. On the other hand, the Wildcats looked to capitalize on floor in the third rotation, as it is one of the strong suits, but missed the mark with a mere 48.625. Due to an unfortunate routine for Haylie Hendrickson scoring a 9.450, and an out-of-bounds from Sydney Freidin, Arizona was forced to count her 9.525.  

In the final rotation Iowa looked to seal the deal with one of their strengths, floor. With 9.900 from Lauren Guerin, and four other scores above 9.800, the Hawkeyes managed to tally a huge 49.200 to close the meet. Arizona, however, had a subpar final rotation with a 48.275 on beam. This evidently could not make up for the Wildcats’ previous mistakes, and the Hawkeyes punched their ticket to day two of regional competition, where Iowa will go up against number four Florida, host Oregon State, and Stanford in the second session.

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