March 2, 2009
This Friday, the 23rd-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team (9-4, 2-1 Big Ten) closes out its home slate when it hosts No. 24 Kentucky. Meet time is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Kentucky (6-7, 0-6 SEC) is coming off a Sunday afternoon loss to No. 20 West Virginia. The Wildcats scored a 194.650 and captured event titles on uneven bars and balance beam.
Junior Hillary Ferguson paced the Wildcats in the all-around, finishing third (38.375). Senior Heather Hite took first place on balance beam (9.850).
Kentucky is coached by Hajile “Mo” Mitchell, who is in his seventh year in Lexington. He owns a career record of 57-88. Last season, Kentucky finished fifth in the NCAA Central Regionals and finished with a 10-17 record (1-6 SEC).
GymHawks In The Rankings
The GymHawks are making noise in Troester’s rankings. As a team, Iowa ranks fourth in the North Central Region with a team regional qualifying score of 194.645. The GymHawks’ average on the season is 194.242 in nine meets, which is fifth-best in the North Central Region. On each event, Iowa ranks second on vault and floor exercise, fourth on uneven bars and sixth on balance beam.
Individually, senior Jenifer Simbhudas ranks fifth on floor and vault. Sophomore Rebecca Simbhudas is tied for fifth on balance beam. Sophomore Houry Gebeshian is eighth-best on beam and tied for ninth on floor. Both Gebeshian and J. Simbhudas are ranked in the top ten as all-around competitors (Gebeshian — 6th; Simbhudas — 8th).
Last Time Out
Last Saturday, the GymHawks dominated No. 25 Maryland, 194.875-192.175. With the win, Iowa is now 6-2 against ranked opponents this season. Their team score of 194.875 is the third-highest mark of the season.
During the meet, the GymHawks recorded their highest team total score on vault, scoring a 49.225. Five gymnasts recorded season highs: J. Simbhudas (9.900), R. Simbhudas (9.875), Gebeshian (9.850), Arielle Sucich (9.775) and Rachel Corcoran (9.750). Other top performances included a 9.875 on floor from freshman Jessa Hansen and a 9.825 vault performance from freshman Annie Szatkowski.
Gebeshian won the all-around title, her fourth of the season, scoring a season-high 39.300. J. Simbhudas was right behind in second place with a 39.275.
Iowa closes out the regular season on the road next weekend, travelling to Big Ten rival Minnesota. Meet time is scheduled for 6 p.m.