It's been a tough week to be an Iowa fan. From the highest of highs a week ago as we celebrated conference championships to the lowest of lows as we watched the basketball and wrestling seasons end in disappointing fashion.
The disappointment sucks, but it's far better than having no expectations at all. I'll take brutal tournament losses over NIT wins any day of the week. It's still a great time to cheer for the Hawks, even if the last week made it really, really, really hard to remember that.
In hopes of making you feel better, let's take a look at some of the other Hawkeye sports that had their own share of highlights last week.
- Iowa gymnastics took part in the Big Ten Conference Meet last weekend and outperformed expectations to finish 3rd. Iowa posted its 3rd-best score in program history (196.950), led by senior Lauren Guerin, who earned a share of the conference title in the Floor event.
- It was Guerin's second straight floor title and a fitting way to cap an extraordinary Hawkeye career. Guerin's 9.950 was part of a team score of 49.525, the 4th-best in school history.
- The Hawks were strong throughout the meet, setting a smattering of season and career-high scores. It was a show of depth for the Hawkeyes, who stuck all six routines on bars, scored above 9.800 in all six vaults, and notched four 9.800's or higher on the beam.
- Iowa has been strong, if inconsistent, throughout the season, so watching them put together a full performance in the biggest meet of the season is a great sign for their postseason chances and a nice bookend to a good year. Their performance throughout the season earned the Hawks a spot in the NCAA Regionals in Raleigh. There, they'll compete against #6 LSU, NC State, and #11 Missouri. The top two scoring teams in the group will advance to the regional final. It will be tough for the Hawkeyes to advance as a team, but last week's performance gives me hope that this team is peaking at the perfect time.
Track and Field
- Iowa track and field started their outdoor season last week, taking part in the Baldy Castillo invite in Arizona.
- The Hawks wasted no time putting down big results, with Tyler Lineau and Amanda Howe finishing third in the men's and women's hammer throw on Day 1.
- Day 2 was even more explosive for the Hawkeyes. Kalen Walker had the highlight performance, setting the school record in the Men's 100m (10.20). LaSarah Hargrove set a career-best in the women's 100m, winning the event in 11.13 seconds. Her score would have been a school record, but was deemed too wind-aided to qualify. James Carter Jr. brought home the gold in the men's long jump (7.34m), Nikolas Curtiss finished first in the Men's shot put (18.84m), and Erin Dowd won the women's 400m hurdles (57.47).
- If Iowa was a bit tired from the long indoor season, they showed absolutely no signs of it here. They came out with all sorts of career bests, school records, and gold medals to start the outdoor season. Seeing the diversity of event winners is a great sign as well. This team will continue to be exciting to watch. If you missed them during the indoor season, now's your chance to make up for it. The Hawks will be off for a week before taking part in the Florida Relays on March 31st.
- Iowa baseball split a pair of games against ranked Texas Tech last weekend before starting off the new week with a 6-5 win over St. Thomas.
- It was a tough start to the weekend, with #12 Texas Tech taking the first game 11-3. The Red Raiders scored early and often and added four runs in the 8th to douse any chance of a Hawkeye comeback.
- Iowa rebounded well on Sunday ,though, striking out 17 batters en route to a 6-3 win. Ty Lagenberg notched 10 K's of his own before Dylan Nedved came on in relief and added seven more. The Hawks fell behind 1-0 early, but fought back to take a 5-1 lead after six, aided by a massive two-run homer run for Andy Nelson, the first of his career. The Raiders tried to rally in the 8th with a two-run home run of their own, but Nedved shut the door to secure the Hawkeye victory.
Check 'em out! Highlights from a big Sunday afternoon win! pic.twitter.com/sepyZ8FDfv— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) March 20, 2022
- The win was Iowa's first over a ranked opponent and an indicator of what this team can do when it plays to itsp otential. Big early season wins can really help a team gain some momentum and start to head in the right direction and Monday's 6-5 win over St. Thomas may be an early indicator that the Hawkeye baseball team is poised for a big run. After Monday's win, featuring a late-inning comeback capped off by a 2-run single from Sam Hojnar in the 8th, the team sits at 9-8. They'll look to continue to build on their momentum against Grand View on the 23rd, before a three-game set against Central Michigan this coming weekend.
Monday evening baseball highlights for your Tuesday morning. Hawks back at Banks Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/IjeJPMVoQe— Iowa Baseball (@UIBaseball) March 22, 2022
- Iowa softball took part in the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Classic last week, going 3-2 with wins against Houston, San Diego, and Sam Houston State.
- The Hawks had a great start to weekend, winning their first three games. Nia Carter went 5/5 with 2 RBIs in Game 1 against Houston en route to an 8-4 win. Carter's five hits tied a school record for hits in a game. Game 2 was another good win for the Hawkeyes, beating San Diego 6-4. Kalena Burns was 2/3 with a home run and Sophia Maras and Marissa Peek drove in two runs apiece. Just for good measure, the Hawks turned a triple play in the third weekend.
- Iowa's third win of the weekend was a convincing 11-4 victory over Sam Houston State. Nia Carter and Tristin Doster each knocked in two as the Hawkeyes scored five runs in the first two innings to take a commanding lead they would not relinquish. Against Indiana, Iowa took a 3-2 lead into the 7th inning, but Indiana rallied for six runs in the top of the 7th to pull away and earn the 8-4 win. Tristin Doster's sixth-inning home run game the Hawks the lead, but the Hoosiers had an answer for every Iowa push to ultimately earn the win.
- Iowa finished out the weekend taking on #1 Oklahoma, who made sure to remind the Hawkeyes why they're the best in the country. The game was called after five innings, with the Sooners winning 20-0.
- As much as the last game might leave a bad taste in the Hawks' mouth, it was a successful weekend for the group. They were an inning away for a 4-1 weekend and put together a solid combination of pitching and hitting for most of the weekend. The game against Oklahoma is a good measuring stick, and a reminder of the ceiling for this group, but it doesn't take away from any of Iowa's goals for the season. They may not be on the path to a College World Series berth, but the team is definitely on an upward trend.