March 5, 2010
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AMES, IA – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team traveled to Ames, IA, Friday evening, seeking a little revenge after the Cyclones topped the GymHawks at home earlier this season. Revenge is exactly what the Hawkeyes found, in the form of a 195.175-194.150 decision over the intrastate rival.
“This is a long time coming,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “It’s very exciting and I’m glad to see the girls reaping the benefits of training so hard. They’ve had this in them for the longest time, but we couldn’t put it together. I’m so pleased with them, and I think things are starting to roll for us. They looked confident and strong, and that’s what we’ve been asking for since the beginning.”
Iowa was led by junior Rebecca Simbhudas who won the all-around with a score of 39.225. Jessa Hansen also had a stellar night as she placed third in the all-around. The sophomore set a career high, earning a 39.100.
“Tonight was a good night mentally for Rebecca and I’m glad for her,” said Libby. “She was still shaky on some events, but did an excellent job overall. We’re really excited for her, and I think she can now relax and focus on important details in gym.”
The GymHawks began the meet on bars where they topped the Cyclones, 48.950-48.900. Houry Gebeshian led Iowa with a score of 9.850, earning her a share of first place. The junior’s performance also tied a career best. Not far behind, was Simbhudas who scored a 9.825 and finished in third.
The Hawkeyes then moved to vault where they scored a 48.800, besting Iowa State’s 48.575. Iowa stole the show with Black and Gold finishing in the top three individual spots. Simbhudas led the competition with a 9.850 while Gebeshian scored a 9.800 to finish in second. Sophomore Annie Szatkowski also excelled on vault with a third place finish after scoring a 9.775.
Iowa then moved to floor where Hansen led the Hawkeyes. The native of Clive, IA, finished in a tie for first with a score of 9.850 while Gebeshian scored a 9.775 and tied for third. Iowa finished with a team score of 48.725, once again ahead of the Cyclones’ 47.850.
The GymHawks finished the meet on beam with a score of 48.700, just behind Iowa State’s 48.825. Simbhudas led the team as she tied for second place, scoring a 9.825. Hansen, along with junior Andrea Hurlburt, tied for fifth, each with scores of 9.750.
“We were pretty close to hitting 24 of 24 events, but I think it’s coming along nicely,” added Libby. “I’m just so proud of this team, a team that is depleted and has been thrown hurdle after hurdle. They could have easily dropped their focus a while ago, but they’ve kept pushing. I don’t know that there has been a more proud moment in my coaching career at Iowa than right now.”
Iowa will return home March 7, to take on the Southern Utah Thunderbirds inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The meet will be held alongside the Iowa men’s gymnastics team as both squads honor their seniors on Senior Day. The meet is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. (CT).