Jan. 19, 2011
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The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will host Michigan in its home opener at the UI Field House Jan. 22. The GymHawks will compete alongside the UI men’s squad, as they host the University of Illinois-Chicago. The co-ed action is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. (CT).
Meet The Hawks Night
The GymHawks will host the first annual Meet the Hawks night Friday, Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. on the second level of the Paul W. Brechler Press Box inside Kinnick Stadium. Fans will have the opportunity to win great prizes and interact with both the coaches and student-athletes.
Fans have the chance to win a gymnastics “Season Ticket” package and kids can register to be the Kid Captain for Iowa’s meet against Michigan Saturday. The event will also include raffle drawings, t-shirt tosses, autographs and the unveiling of the 2011 Iowa women’s gymnastics team poster.
Saturday’s competition will be the second of three meetings between Iowa and Michigan. The Hawkeyes saw the Wolverines in the first meet of the season, where Michigan State hosted Iowa, Michigan, and Western Michigan. The Hawkeyes took second with a team score of 193.825 while Michigan won the meet, scoring a 195.700.
In the most recent national rankings from troester.com, the Hawkeyes are ranked No. 17, with a pair of seniors ranked in the top-20 individually. Rebecca Simbhudas is ranked 16th on floor exercise with an average score of 9.850, while Houry Gebeshian is ranked 20th on bars with an average of 9.838. Additionally, the GymHawks are ranked among the top-20, as a team, on vault (T-16th), bars (14th) and floor exercise (13th).
Head Coach Larissa Libby
In her seventh season at Iowa, Larissa Libby has a career record of 54-63-1. Libby coached the 2010 GymHawks to a third place finish at the Big Ten Championships, their best finish in six years, as well as their fourth regional appearance in six seasons. 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.
Up next for the GymHawks is a meet at Illinois Jan. 29. Competition is scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. (CT) in Champaign, IL.