GymHawks Take First At Michigan State

Jan. 17, 2009

Final Results in PDF Format

EAST LANSING, MI – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team got off to a fast start Saturday night at Michigan State and never looked back, taking first place in a quad meet against Michigan State, No. 18 West Virginia and Illinois State. It was the GymHawks’ first outright meet win of the season and first multi-team meet win since Feb. 24, 2008, when they defeated Michigan State and Illinois.

Just eight days ago, Iowa opened the season at home with a third place finish to LSU and Southeast Missouri State, a result that did not sit well with Iowa Head Coach Larissa Libby.

“We changed some things in practice to give us a bit of a mental edge,” said Libby. “The team that came out last week was just a little bit young and a little bit nervous, but everyone was in the right place tonight. They fed off each other’s performances and there was a lot more focus.”

There would be repeat performance Saturday night. Iowa’s team score Saturday (194.350) was almost three full points higher than their score Jan. 9 against LSU and Southeast Missouri State (191.375). The GymHawks were in-sync in every way, winning two of four events (vault, floor) and showing consistency in scores. Senior Jenifer Simbhudas was the meet’s top all-around performer, taking the crown with an overall score of 39.075. Sophomore Houry Gebeshian finished second to Simbhudas with a 39.025 and also set a career-high on vault with her score of 9.750.

Last week, the GymHawks had their highest team marks on beam and that is where they would start Saturday night. Libby praised the effort by junior Andrea Hurlburt, Iowa’s first competitor on beam, with the GymHawks’ fast start. Sophomore Rebecca Simbhudas would lead the GymHawks in the event, scoring a 9.800. Like seven of her teammates a week earlier, fellow sophomore Kelly Galau saw her first taste of collegiate gymnastics Saturday, tying for fourth on the vault with a 9.775.

“I think the biggest difference tonight was that we started off real well on beam,” said Libby. “That was huge. We were a lot more consistent tonight and a lot more prepared.”

The GymHawks moved to floor second, scoring a 48.725 as a team. Jenifer Simbhudas led Iowa with a 9.800 and finished second overall, while Gebeshian and freshman Jessa Hansen tied for third with identical scores of 9.775.

Simbhudas’ high score of the night would come on vault, scoring a 9.825 and a share of first place with Michigan State’s Katlyn Roggensack. As a team, it was the GymHawks’ highest-scoring event of the evening, as every competitor got scored a 9.600 or higher. Freshman Annie Szatkowski scored a 9.775 in just the second meet of her career at Iowa.

Heading into the final rotation of the evening, Iowa was in a tight battle for first place. Simbhudas and Gebeshian both scored a 9.750 on uneven bars, while sophomore Arielle Sucich achieved her highest mark of the night with a 9.700 to secure the first place victory for Iowa.

“This team has the greatest amount of heart,” said Libby. “They are focused on what they have to do every day to get better and they take it to heart. That was the difference maker. We still have a lot of work to do and are still making uncharacteristic mistakes, but I truly believe that we have our best gymnastics ahead of us.”

The quad meet was taped on the Big Ten Network and will air Jan. 23 at 5 p.m. The GymHawks will be on the road again next weekend, travelling to Champaign, IL, for a dual meet with Big Ten foe Illinois. Meet time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Final Team ScoresPlace   Team        Vault       Bars    Beam        Floor       Total1.   IOWA        48.825      48.175  48.625      48.725      194.3502.  Michigan State  48.775      48.725  48.125      48.575      194.2003.  West Virginia   48.650      48.775  47.700      48.625      193.7504.  Illinois State  48.175      45.775  48.075      48.675      190.700
Individual Results (Winner plus Iowa):VaultT1. Katlyn Roggensack (MSU) 9.825T1. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.825T4. Kelly Galau (IOWA) 9.775T4. Annie Szatkowski (IOWA) 9.775T8. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 9.750T12. Kara Pinjuv (IOWA) 9.700T21. Arielle Sucich (IOWA) 9.600
Uneven Bars1. Meghan Morris (WVU) 9.825T7. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 9.750T7. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.750T11. Arielle Sucich (IOWA) 9.70016. Jennie Schurman (IOWA) 9.57519. Rebecca Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.40020. Jessa Hansen (IOWA) 9.125
Balance BeamT1. Kelsey Morely (MSU) 9.850T3. Rebecca Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.800T5. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 9.750T7. Kara Pinjuv (IOWA) 9.725T9. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.700T11. Jessa Hansen (IOWA) 9.65014. Andrea Hurlburt (IOWA) 9.600
Floor Exercise1. Amy Bieski (WVU) 9.8502. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.800T3. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 9.775T3. Jessa Hansen (IOWA) 9.775T9. Kara Pinjuv (IOWA) 9.750T19. Arielle Sucich (IOWA) 9.62521. Rebecca Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.050
All-Around1. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 39.0752. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 39.0253. Meghan Morris (WVU) 38.8504. Robin Weissman (ILSTU) 38.5505. Erica Schick (ILSTU) 38.3756. Nicole Curler (MSU) 38.2257. Emily Lopatofsky (MSU) 37.925=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""/images/2016/6/1//thhh.jpg" width="180" height="62" class="imported">