GymHawks Finish Second At Michigan State

Jan. 7, 2011

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East Lansing, MI — The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team finished second in a four-team meet hosted by Michigan State Friday evening. The GymHawks scored a team total of 193.825, but fell short of Michigan’s 195.700. Western Michigan placed third with a 192.050 while Michigan State rounded out the competition with a 191.580. Competition was held in Michigan State’s Jenison Field House.

Junior Jessa Hansen led the Black & Gold with a third place finish in the all-around. The Clive, Iowa, native posted a score of 39.150 while senior Houry Gebeshian finished fourth with a score of 38.600. Senior Rebecca Simbhudas scored a 37.625 in the all-around and placed seventh.

“Jessa had a fantastic night for us,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “She put together four great events that included all new skills and handled herself very well. It was also the first time for her to anchor for us on bars and I’m very pleased with her performance.” The GymHawks began the night on bars where they posted a team score of 48.850. Gebeshian and Hansen tied for fifth as the pair each posted scores of 9.825. The mark was a career best for Hansen.

Iowa’s second rotation was on beam, which proved to be its most difficult event of the meet. Hansen led the Hawkeyes once again with a score of 9.725 earning her a share of third place. Freshman Tesla Cox placed 14th for Iowa in her collegiate debut. The Mauldin, SC, native scored a 9.550 in her only event of the evening.

“We need Tesla in our rotations, and she should be doing the all-around,” said Libby. “With that being said she’s only a freshman and tonight gave her a great taste of the action. She proved that she could handle the pressure and we’re excited to see more of her.”

The Hawkeyes rebounded with a 48.875 on floor in their third rotation. Simbhudas led the Hawkeyes as she tied for first and scored a 9.875, matching her career best. Hansen and Gebeshian finished fourth and fifth, respectively, as they posted scores of 9.825 and 9.800. Additionally, senior Andrea Hurlburt scored a career high on floor (9.700) while sophomore Kaitlynn Urano competed on floor (9.675) for the first time in her collegiate career.

“After our beam rotation, we needed our upper classmen in a completely different way and they stepped up,” added Libby. “We needed them to keep the young ones focused after a disaster and they handled themselves well enough to prevent a spillover into the next two events.”

The GymHawks concluded the meet with a team score of 48.925 on vault, their best score of all four events. Gebeshian and Simbhudas led the Hawkeyes as they each scored a 9.850 to tie for second. Gebeshian’s score was the best of her career. Hansen also picked up a career mark on vault, her second career best of the night. She, along with senior Arielle Suchich, tied for sixth with scores of 9.775.

The GymHawks will return to action when they travel to Minneapolis, MN, for a Big Ten match-up against the Golden Gophers Jan. 15. Competition is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (CT) inside the Sports Pavilion.