No. 25 Iowa Travels To No. 17 Ohio State

Feb. 3, 2009


This Week
The 25th-ranked University of Iowa GymHawks (6-2, 2-0 Big Ten) return to Big Ten action this weekend, as they travel to Columbus, OH, for a dual-meet with No. 17 Ohio State. Meet time is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (CT) and will be taped by the Big Ten Network. The meet will air Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.

Back In The Polls
Iowa is ranked 25th in the latest NCAA Women’s Gymnastics poll. it marks the first time this season the GymHawks are ranked. They were ranked as high as No. 19 last season.

Iowa joins five other Big Ten teams in the poll: Illinois (No. 14), Penn State (No. 15), Michigan (No. 16), Ohio State (No. 17) and Minnesota (No. 18). The GymHawks have already competed against ranked foes LSU (No. 11), West Virginia (No. 22) and Illinois.

Scouting Ohio State University
Ohio State (2-4, 0-2 Big Ten) enters Saturday’s meet having finished fourth in a quad-meet with Missouri, Illinois and Michigan State Jan. 31. The Buckeyes were led by freshman Taylor Jones on both floor (9.825) and vault (9.725).

Last season, Ohio State finished with a record of 7-6-1, including a mark of 2-0-1 in the Big Ten. They finished the season third at NCAA Regionals and No. 18 in the polls. They returned eight letterwinners this season (three seniors).

Ohio State is coached by Carey Fagan, who is in her fifth season. She owns a career record of 35-33-1 in five seasons.

Last season, Iowa and Ohio State tied at 195.400 in Iowa City.

Last Time Out
Iowa won its third-straight meet Jan. 31, defeating Wisconsin-Whitewater and Texas Woman’s University in Iowa City. The GymHawks have defeated six straight teams over a three-week span, including two road wins against ranked opponents (West Virginia, Illinois).

Sophomore Houry Gebeshian won her second-straight all-around title (39.150), just barely edging teammate Jenifer Simbhudas (39.125), who finished second. The GymHawks won every event in convincing fashion, reaching season bests on vault, bars and total team score.

Steady Improvement
Since starting the season with a third place finish Jan. 9, the GymHawks have rebounded furiously, winning each subsequent meet. Team scores have gone up each week, peaking with the 195.050 the GymHawks scored this past Saturday.

Individually, sophomore Rebecca Simbhudas, in just her second week as an all-around competitor, received the highest mark of any Hawkeye on bars (9.875) so far this season. J. Simbhudas and freshman Jessa Hansen reached season-highs on bars, scoring 9.825 and 9.725, respectively. Senior Kara Pinjuv had a great night, finishing inside the top two in each of the three events she competed in, including tying a career-high on floor (9.875) and setting a new career-high on beam (9.850).