Iowa Hosts NCAA North Central Regional Saturday

March 30, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

This Week
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will host the 2009 NCAA regionals thie Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Joining the GymHawks in competition will be Florida, UCLA, Denver, Iowa State and Minnesota. Meet time is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Scouting The Field
Iowa (10-5, 2-2 Big Ten) enters the meet as the sixth seed in the field. Florida, ranked No. 6 in the country, is the top seed, with Pac-10 champion UCLA (No. 7) the second seed. UCLA had eight gymnasts named to the Pac-10 all-Conference team, the most honorees from a single team in Pac-10 history. Denver (No. 20) is the fourth seed.

The GymHawks have already competed against third seeded Minnesota (No. 18) and fifth-seed Iowa State (No. 23). Iowa swept the season series with Iowa State for the first time since 1992, but lost to Minnesota late in the season.

Last Time Out
The GymHawks’ last competition came at the Big Ten Championships March 21 in Champaign, IL, where they finished seventh. Several GymHawks recorded career-highs at the event: sophomore Arielle Sucich (floor, 9.85; vault, 9.85), junior Jenny Donar (floor, 9.8), and Rachel Corcoran (vault, 9.825). As a team, Iowa scored a 195.450, the second-highest team scoring output of the season. The GymHawks also scored a season-high 49.25 on floor exercise.

GymHawks Reel In Awards
Senior Jenifer Simbhudas and sophomore Houry Gebeshian were named first team all-Big Ten by the Big Ten coaches. It was Simbhudas’ third career honor. She is only the sixth gymnast in school a history to be named all-Big Ten three times in her career. It was Gebeshian’s first career honor.

In addition, eight GymHawks received academic all-Big Ten honors: seniors Brittany Logan and Kara Pinjuv, juniors Becky Blahyj, Jenny Donar, and Andrea Hurlburt and sophomores Kelly Galau, Gebeshian and Kristen Ward.

Last Year At Regionals…
Iowa finished in sixth place at last year’s North Central regional competition in Minneapolis, MN, scoring a 193.875. Former Hawkeye Katie Burke was Iowa’s highest scorer in the all-around finishing ninth (38.95), while Gebeshian placed tenth (38.925). Brandi Loffer (38.375) and J. Simbhudas (37.775) also competed in the all-around, finishing 16th and 18th, respectively.

GymHawks At Regionals
This is Iowa’s ninth trip to the NCAA Regional Championships and third appearance in the last five years. The GymHawks’ best regional finish is second (2004), which earned the team a bid to the NCAA Championships.