Jan. 12, 2009
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team hits the road for the first time this season, travelling to East Lansing, MI, Saturday for quad-meet with Michigan State, Illinois State and West Virginia. The meet will be broadcast on tape-delay by the Big Ten Network, airing Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. (CT).
Scouting the Opponents
Michigan State opened their 2009 season Jan. 9 with a third place finish in a quad meet with Michigan, Illinois and Western Michigan. The Spartans posted a score of 192.325 and were led by junior Nicole Curler, who posted a team-high score of 9.850 on floor.
Illinois State dropped their second dual meet in as many weeks Jan. 9, falling to Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant, MI. Senior Meaghan Koshman took second place on vault and freshman Melissa Mann was first overall on beam for the Redbirds.
West Virginia comes to East Lansing having lost a close dual meet to defending national champion Georgia. Senior Mehgan Morris led the Mountaineers on both bars and floor, while junior Chelsi Tabor won the vault.
Scouting the Hawkeyes
The GymHawks opened the season at home Jan. 9, hosting No. 7 LSU and Southeast Missouri State, finishing third. Senior Jenifer Simbhudas led Iowa in every event and finished second in the all-around competition (39.200). Sophomore Houry Gebeshian also had strong performance, earning second place on beam (9.800) and fourth in the all-around (38.625).
Fresh Faces Seeing Action
Seven competitors saw their first action as members of the GymHawks against LSU and SEMO, including five freshmen. After a rocky start to her collegiate career on uneven bars, freshmen Jessa Hansen bounced back on beam and floor to earn sixth and fourth place, respectively. In addition to Hansen, junior Andrea Hurlburt (beam), sophomore Becky Blahyj (vault) and freshmen Rachel Corcoran (vault), Melissa Miller (beam), Jennie Schurman (bars, floor) and Annie Szatkowski (vault) all saw their first collegiate action as members of the Hawkeyes.
Head Coach Larissa Libby
Entering her fifth season at Iowa, Larissa Libby has a career record of 30-46-1. She was named co-Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2009 for her efforts in guiding the GymHawks to a 10-4-1 record and a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regionals. Libby served as associate head coach in 2004 and assistant coach from 2001-03 at Iowa before being named head coach in 2005.