March 5, 2011
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IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team finished their home season with a perfect 5-0 record after beating Northern Illinois 195.950-193.425 Saturday evening. The No. 16 Hawkeyes won every event and had six different gymnasts win, or at least tie for first, in every event. Competition was held in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the UI Field House.
“It was great to end our home season unbeaten, but this win means so much more than that for our team,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “Our schedule has been grueling and to come off a tough week of practice, sit some of our best gymnasts on a few events and still be able to nearly post a 196.000 says a lot about the strength of our team.”
“Rebecca has worked as hard as anyone on this team to build a name for herself and it is all paying off,” said Libby. “She strives to be recognized nationally and to see her accomplish that is a great feeling. I couldn’t be happier for her.”
The Hawkeyes began the meet on vault where all six of their competitors swept the top six places. Seniors Arielle Sucich and Simbhudas, along with junior Annie Szatkowski and sophomore Maya Wickus, posted a 9.800 to tie for first place. Sucich’s performance tied a season high for the Ft. Salonga, NY, native. Sophomore Emma Stevenson recorded a 9.775 to finish in fifth while Gebeshian tied for sixth with a 9.750. Iowa won the event, 48.975-48.000.
“Your last home meet as a senior is always difficult from an emotional standpoint but I thought our seniors did a phenomenal job tonight,” added Libby. “They all work so hard at doing their part in helping Iowa succeed, so it was great to end tonight with a win.”
The GymHawks also swept on bars and topped the Huskies with a season high of 49.275. Simbhudas won the title with a score 9.875. Gebeshian, Sucich, Stevenson and freshman Tesla Cox all tied for second with scores of 9.850. Sucich and Cox both posted career marks while Stevenson tied her career high. Junior Jessa Hansen tied for sixth with a score of 9.825.
Iowa moved to beam in the third rotation where they topped the Huskies, 48.825-48.175. Hansen won the event with a score of 9.850 while Simbhudas and Cox tied for second (9.825). Cox’s beam performance was the best of her career. Szatkowski posted a 9.725 to finish tied for sixth while Gebeshian placed ninth with a 9.600.
In the final rotation, the GymHawks posted a 48.875, ahead of Northern Illinois’ 48.425. Sophomore Kaitlynn Urano won the event with a career mark of 9.800. Gebeshian, Simbhudas and Stevenson each recorded a 9.775 and tied for second while senior Andrea Hurlburt finished in fifth with a career high of 9.750. Additionally, Szatkowski finished in a tie for eighth with a 9.700.
The GymHawks will close out their regular season with a meet at Southern Utah March 12. Action will be held in Cedar City, UT, and is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT).
“There are some definite spots that we need to sure up before the Big Ten Championships, but we have one final meet to do that,” said Libby. “We’ll go back to work as we always do and try to close out the regular season with a win.”