March 9, 2009
The 25th-ranked University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team heads north to close out the regular season, battling Big Ten rival Minnesota this Saturday at 6 p.m. It is the final dual meet for both teams before the Big Ten Championships next week.
The meet will be shown on tape delay by the Big Ten Network, airing March 18 at 7 p.m. This marks the third time Iowa has been on the Network this season. Iowa won a quad meet at Michigan State Jan. 17 and dropped a dual meet at Ohio State Feb. 7.
Last Time Out
Last Friday, the GymHawks hosted their final home meet of the season and defeated Kentucky, 196.525 – 194.875. It was Iowa’s highest point total of the season, surpassing the previous mark of 195.050 that was scored Jan. 31 against Texas Woman’s University and Wisconsin-Whitewater. During the meet, 23 of Iowa’s 24 gymnasts in the lineup scored a 9.6 or higher and swept Kentucky in every event.
Senior Jenifer Simbhudas won the all-around competition, scoring a career-high 39.525 while her sister, sophomore Rebecca Simbhudas, finished second (39.400). Sophomore Houry Gebeshian came in third with a 39.175.
Senior Brandi Loffer recorded a career-high 9.9 on uneven bars, leading Iowa to a team season best in that event (49.225). The GymHawks also received a 49.025 team mark on balance beam, also a team season best.
With Iowa’s dual meet win over Kentucky last weekend, the GymHawks hold a record of 10-4, including a 2-1 mark in the Big Ten. Iowa has equalled last season’s win total (10-4-1 in 2008). The GymHawks have won four straight home meets and four of five overall.
Iowa is also 7-2 against ranked opponents this season, with wins coming against Michigan State, West Virginia, Illinois, Iowa State (twice), Maryland and Kentucky.
Simbhudas Earns Gymnast of the Week Honors
Jenifer Simbhudas was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Week for her efforts in leading Iowa to a dual meet victory over Kentucky. The senior from Markham, Ontario, participating in her last home meet for the GymHawks, scored higher than a 9.825 on every event and took home first place in three events. She received scores of 9.9 (vault), 9.825 (bars), 9.875 (beam) and 9.925 (floor). It is Simbhudas’ third career honor after receiving the award twice last year as a junior.
No. 17 Minnesota (7-7) is coming off a road loss last Friday at Arkansas where it scored 195.250 as a team. The Golden Gophers have won four of five home meets this season, their only loss coming Jan. 24 against Michigan. Senior Carmelina Carabajal, a first team all-Big Ten selection last year, finished third in the all-around against Arkansas (39.2).
Iowa heads to the the Big Ten Championships next Saturday, March 21, on the campus of the University of Illinois. The meet is scheduled to take place at Huff Hall and begin at 2 p.m. It will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.