GymHawks Open Season With Second Place Finish

Jan. 9, 2010

ANN ARBOR, MI – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team began its 2010 season with a tri-meet in Ann Arbor, MI Saturday night, finishing in second place with a score of 193.200. No. 12 Michigan won the meet with a score of 194.875 while Bowling Green placed third with a 189.925.

Junior Rebecca Simbhudas led the Hawkeyes with a second place finish in the all-around, scoring a 39.000. Despite a difficult finish on the uneven bars, Simbhudas was able to finish in a tie for second on floor (9.775), third on vault (9.800) and fifth on the balance beam (9.725).

“Rebecca is capable of far more than she showed tonight,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “She realized her importance on the team and held back a little bit, but she is definitely one that will get better as the season goes on.

Jessa Hansen also stepped up big for the Hawkeyes as she took third in the all-around. It was the sophomore’s first collegiate experience on vault.

“Jessa competed in two events tonight that she has never done before, and we were really pleased with her leadership and impact she had on the team,” said Libby. “She’s beginning to come into her own as a leader, and we need to make sure she continues doing the little things right.”

The Hawkeyes began work on the bars where they scored a 48.725 and held first place after one rotation. Hansen and sophomore Annie Szatkowski led Iowa as they tied for fourth in the event, each scoring a career best of 9.800. It was Szatkowski’s first competition on bars.

“I was very pleased with our focus and effort to begin the meet,” said Libby. “The girls were comfortably focused on nothing in the arena but themselves, and it really showed tonight.”

The Black and Gold shined on balance beam as they held three of the event’s top five scores. Junior Houry Gebeshian won the event with a score of 9.850 while Hansen (9.750) and Simbhudas (9.725) placed fourth and fifth, respectively. The Hawkeyes finished the event with a score of 48.425.

Iowa then moved to floor where they finish with a 48.475, shy of Michigan’s 48.825. Simbhudas anchored the Hawkeyes in this event as she tied for second and scored a 9.775. Hansen also led the GymHawks as she finished in seventh with a score of 9.725.

Iowa finished the meet on vault where they were led by Simbhudas once again, who took third place with a score of 9.800. Junior Kelly Galau also did well with an eighth place finish and a score of 9.625.

“I think that we more than met our own expectations this weekend,” said Libby. “We couldn’t be more pleased after walking away from this performance against one of the best teams in the nation.”

The GymHawks also introduced four new faces Saturday as sophomores Jordan Eszlinger and Melissa Miller, along with freshmen Emma Stevenson and Kaitlynn Urano, saw their first collegiate competition.

“We tried a lot of people in a lot of new events, and I was very satisfied with our performance,” said Libby. “We need to continue to work hard, however, because we are nowhere close to our potential. Tonight we realized what we could be if we pay attention to the little things. We can definitely hang with the best in the conference. We believe we can be there and we will do everything we can to get it.”

The Hawkeyes will host Michigan State and the University of Illinois Chicago, Jan. 15. Competition will take place at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Final Team Scores
Place Team Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
1. Michigan 48.650 49.175 48.225 48.825 194.875
2. IOWA 47.575 48.725 48.425 48.475 193.200
3. Bowling Green 48.025 47.450 46.750 47.700 189.925

Individual Results (Winner plus Iowa):
1. Natalie Beilstein (Michigan) 9.875
3. Rebecca Simbhudas (Iowa) 9.800
8. Kelly Galau (Iowa) 9.625
T9. Jessa Hansen (Iowa) 9.600
12. Houry Gebeshian (Iowa) 9.500
16. Rachel Corcoran (Iowa) 9.050

Uneven Bars
1. Kylee Botterman (Michigan) 9.900
T4. Jessa Hansen (Iowa) 9.800
T4. Annie Szatkowski (Iowa) 9.800
8. Emma Stevenson (Iowa) 9.725
T9. Houry Gebeshian (Iowa) 9.700
T9. Rebecca Simbhudas (Iowa) 9.700
13. Jordan Eszlinger (Iowa) 9.600

Balance Beam
1. Houry Gebeshian (Iowa) 9.850
4. Jessa Hansen (Iowa) 9.750
5. Rebecca Simbhudas (Iowa) 9.725
9. Andrea Hurlburt (Iowa) 9.575
11. Kaitlynn Urano (Iowa) 9.525
13. Melissa Miller (Iowa) 9.300

Floor Exercise
1. Natalie Beilstein 9.850
T2. Rebecca Simbhudas (Iowa) 9.775
7. Jessa Hansen (Iowa) 9.725
T8. Houry Gebeshian (Iowa) 9.700
T10. Jenny Donar (Iowa) 9.675
13. Rachel Corcoran (Iowa) 9.600
17. Andrea Hurlburt (Iowa) 9.000

1. Kylee Botterman (Michigan) 39.150
2. Rebecca Simbhudas (Iowa) 39.000
3. Jessa Hansen (Iowa) 38.875
4. Houry Gebeshian (Iowa) 38.750