March 8, 2007
Having recently come off a very difficult competition schedule with four meets in 15 days, the GymHawks are currently enjoying success both at the National and Conference level. Currently ranked 27th in the country, a ranking they have not achieved in over two years, the Hawkeyes have seen a significant change in their team.
“We have worked extremely hard to achieve our goals. We pushed the team very hard in the pre-season and the girls responded to every challenge we gave them,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “Most importantly, this team loves to compete! They don’t make excuses when we have a less than ideal performance. We take a look at what went wrong and get back in the gym and fix it.”
With all of the changes that have been made the team is responding to the level Libby knew they could. The GymHawks have an impressive showing in this week’s rankings.
Even more impressive are the GymHawks’ standings within the Big Ten Conference. Turcotte tops the conference with her first place ranking on vault, while Burke is ranked fourth in the all-around and sophomore Jenifer Simbhudas is 10th.
Holding the No. 2 ranking in the Big Ten on floor is Simbhudas with Burke close behind at sixth. On beam and bars, Burke is ranked eighth and fourth, respectively.
“The amazing thing about our individual achievements is that our athletes don’t even know where they are in the rankings. They are completely focused on the team and the team’s success as a whole and that is the reason why we have had such a great season.”
Head Coach Larissa Libby
“We are very proud of all of the individual honors and rankings that the team has achieved. It’s great to see that our contributions are coming from a variety of classes, which will help us in the future,” said Libby. “The amazing thing about our individual achievements is that our athletes don’t even know where they are in the rankings. They are completely focused on the team and the team’s success as a whole and that is the reason why we have had such a great season.”
With only three regular season meets left before heading off to the Big Ten Championships, Libby feels that her team will be ready when it matters the most.
Iowa junior Katie Burke is ranked 29th nationally in the all-around
“This team has been geared up for Big Ten’s since we began our first competition. I don’t worry about whether they will take the challenge seriously or not. They have made this their mission. They feel they have something to prove and I don’t believe that they will let anything get in their way!”
The Big Ten Championships, hosted by Penn State University, will be held March 31st. Competition will take place at Rec Hall and is set to begin at 5 p.m., CST.