GymHawks Finish Seventh At Big Ten Championships


March 21, 2009

Complete Results

CHAMPAIGN, IL – Looking to gain some experience heading into the postseason, the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team finished in seventh place at the Big Ten Championships Saturday afternoon, scoring a 195.450 as a team, the second-highest scoring output of the season. The University of Michigan won the seven-team meet, winning the conference championship for the second year in a row.

Despite injuries to several of Iowa’s key competitors and relative inexperience on the big stage this season, Iowa head coach Larissa Libby could not have been more proud of her team’s effort Saturday afternoon against the Big Ten’s best.

“They did a fantastic job,” Libby said. “We weren’t sure what we would be like because a lot of our kids hadn’t been in a championship situation, but they battled hard all the way to the end. There was no room for error tonight and unfortunately we made some costly mistakes early. But make no mistake; I am extremely proud of our team.

After getting a bye on the first rotation, Iowa officially started the meet on balance beam during the second rotation and shook off some early nerves to score a 48.225, led by a 9.800 score from senior Jenifer Simbhudas. Freshman Jessa Hansen turned in a solid performance in her first event at the Big Ten Championships, scoring a 9.775, second-best on the team. As she has done all season, junior Andrea Hurlburt was Iowa’s first competitor, scoring a 9.700. Two of Iowa’s more seasoned competitors, sophomore Houry Gebeshian and senior Brandi Loffer, scored a 9.325 and a 9.150, respectively.

“I felt we were prepared [for beam], but the lack of experience in our team showed up today,” Libby said. “I don’t think they were nervous at all. I don’t know if it was a fluky thing or what, but we needed to get off to a better start.”

High scores were contagious for the GymHawks during the fourth rotation on floor, as each of Iowa’s six gymnasts in the lineup scored higher than a 9.8. Looking to gain some ground on the rest of the field, the GymHawks looked as strong as they have all season, scoring a season-high 49.250. Junior Jenny Donar, who battled a minor ankle injury during practice Friday afternoon, kicked things off on floor for Iowa, gutting out a career-high 9.800. Sophomore Arielle Sucich followed Donar’s performance up with a career-high effort of her own, receiving a mark of 9.850. Gebeshian and fellow sophomore Rebecca Simbhudas kept the strong performances coming, each scoring a 9.825. Hansen and J. Simbhudas closed out Iowa’s floor lineup with two enthusiastic routines, bringing the Hawkeye contingent to their feet with scores of 9.850 and 9.900, respectively.

“I think our team showed tremendous resilience to come back on floor after a subpar beam performance,” Libby said. “They had the best floor of their lives, from top to bottom, and it was the best I’ve seen all year. I think it shows what they are made of.”

Iowa started on vault in the sixth rotation and scored a 49.125. Freshman Rachel Corcoran, also appearing in her first Big Ten Championships, kept the momentum going for the GymHawks, scoring a career-high 9.825. Sucich was next in line for Iowa, scoring a 9.850, which ties a career-high set last week at Minnesota. J. Simbhudas and freshman Annie Szatkowski both received marks of 9.800, while R. Simbhudas (9.850) and Gebeshian (9.775) rounded out the lineup.

Through three events, the GymHawks had a total team score of 146.600 with one event, uneven bars, remaining in the seventh and final rotation of the afternoon. The Simbhudas led Iowa with identical scores of 9.800, but it was Sucich who started things off for Iowa, scoring a 9.750. Hansen finished off her impressive afternoon by scoring a 9.775, as did Gebeshian. Loffer closed the meet out for Iowa by scoring a 9.725.

In the all-around, J. Simbhudas finished in seventh place (39.300), while R. Simbhudas came in 14th (39.050) and Gebeshian ended at 16th (38.700). Individually, the GymHawks recorded three top-ten finishes: J. Simbhudas finished tied for fifth on floor, while Sucich and R. Simbhudas tied for ninth on vault.

Iowa hosts the NCAA North Central Regional competition April 4 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The GymHawks rank fifth in the North Central region with a regional qualifying score 194.875 and are looking to qualify for the second year in a row. The meet is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Final Team ScoresPlace   Team        Vault   Bars        Beam        Floor       Total1.  Michigan    49.225  49.425      48.975      49.450      197.0752.  Illinois    49.375  48.950      48.925      49.500      196.7503.  Penn St.    49.275  49.025      48.900      49.425      196.5254.  Minnesota   49.075  49.075      49.025      48.825      196.0005.  Ohio St.    49.125  49.025      48.625      49.125      195.9006.  Michigan St.    48.950  48.725      48.825      49.150      195.6507.   Iowa        49.125  48.850      48.225      49.250      195.450
Individual Results (Winner plus Iowa)Vault1. Kelsey Joannides (Illinois) 9.925T9. Arielle Sucich (IOWA) 9.850T9. Rebecca Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.85017. Rachel Corcoran (IOWA) 9.825T23. Annie Szatkowski (IOWA) 9.800T23. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.80032. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 9.775
Uneven Bars1. Trish Wilson (Michigan) 9.95015. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.800T21. Jessa Hansen (IOWA) 9.775T21. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 9.775T28. Arielle Sucich (IOWA) 9.750T28. Rebecca Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.750T34. Brandi Loffer (IOWA) 9.725
Balance Beam1. Carmelina Carabajal (Minnesota) 9.90012. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.80017. Jessa Hansen (IOWA) 9.775T26. Andrea Hurlburt (IOWA) 9.70032. Rebecca Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.62536. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 9.32540. Brandi Loffer (IOWA) 9.150
Floor ExerciseT1. Sarah Schmidt (Illinois) 9.950T1. Kylee Botterman (Michigan) 9.950T1. Brandi Personett (Penn St.) 9.950T5. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.900T17. Jessa Hansen (IOWA) 9.850T17. Arielle Sucich (IOWA) 9.850T27. Rebecca Simbhudas (IOWA) 9.825T27. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 9.825T29. Jenny Donar (IOWA) 9.800
All-Around1. Carmelina Carabajal (Minnesota) 39.5007. Jenifer Simbhudas (IOWA) 39.30014. Rebecca Simbhudas (IOWA) 39.05016. Houry Gebeshian (IOWA) 38.700=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""http:>=""/images/2016/6/1//thhh.jpg" width="180" height="62" class="imported">