GymHawks Host Illinois

Jan. 26, 2010

This Week
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will return to Carver- Hawkeye Arena Saturday when they host the University of Illinois. The GymHawks will compete alongside the Iowa men’s gymnastics team as they take on the Michigan Wolverines. Competition is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT).

Scouting Illinois
The No. 25 Fighting Illini fell to No. 2 Oklahoma, 196.650-194.425, in their home opener Jan. 23. Senior Nicole Cowart led Illinois, as she turned in season-highs on every event but bars to win the all-around with a score of 39.150. The Fighting Illini, coached by Bob Starkell, posted over a 49 in two events (vault and floor) for the first time this season as they moved to a record of 3-3.

Scouting the Hawkeyes
The GymHawks took on Penn State, Yale and Cornell Jan. 23, earning second place with a total team score of 192.175. Junior Rebecca Simbhudas led the Hawkeyes with a third place finish in the all-around (38.600), recording Iowa’s top score in both vault (9.8) and floor (9.8).

Head Coach Larissa Libby
Entering her sixth season at Iowa, Larissa Libby has a career record of 45-51-1. She was named North Central Region Coach of the Year in 2009 for her efforts in guiding the GymHawks to a 10-5 record and a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regionals. She was also named co-Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2008. Libby served as associate head coach in 2004 and assistant coach from 2001-03 at Iowa before being named head coach in 2005.

Quoting Coach Libby
“It’s always a little bit easier when you’re competing at home, so I’m excited to return to Carver,” said Coach Libby. “It will be fun for the athletes, men and women, to have the opportunity to compete on the same floor so we’re excited. The girls are working as hard as they can on what’s in their control, but we need to remain focused and positive.”

Next Competition
The Hawkeyes will remain in Carver-Hawkeye Arena as they take on another Big Ten foe, the Ohio State Buckeyes, Feb. 6. It will be their last Big Ten competiton until they host Minnesota Feb. 28. Competition is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (CT).