GymHawks Finish Sixth At Big Ten Championship

March 19, 2011

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Minneapolis, MN – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team finished in sixth place at the 2011 Big Ten Championship. The Hawkeyes posted a team score of 194.850 as Michigan (196.600) won the title. Penn State (196.375) placed second as Illinois (196.075) rounded out the top three. Action was held in Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis, MN.

“We’ve been so consistent this entire year, but made too many mistakes today,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “The season still isn’t over and we have a lot of work to do.”

Senior Houry Gebeshian led the Hawkeyes with a fifth place finish in the all-around competition. The Newton, MA, native posted a 39.225 in her final conference meet. Junior Jessa Hansen recorded a 38.550 to finish 13th as senior Rebecca Simbhudas (38.300) tied for 15th.

“Houry had a fantastic meet and we’re thrilled for her,” said Libby. “She’s worked incredibly hard this season, as have all of our athletes; they’ve given everything.”

All three of Iowa’s all-around competitors were selected to All-Conference teams. Simbhudas and Hansen were both first team selections while Gebeshian was named to the second team for a second-consecutive season.

Iowa began the meet on beam where they finished third with a mark of 48.725. Simbhudas led the Hawkeyes with a 9.825. In her best finish of any event, the returning all-American placed sixth. Hansen and Gebeshian tied for seventh with scores of 9.800. Additionally, senior Arielle Sucich recorded a 9.725 to tie for 17th.

In their second rotation, the Black and Gold posted a mark of 48.675 on floor. Hansen led the way with a 9.875, good for a share of 10th place. Gebeshian (9.825) tied for 23rd as junior Annie Szatkowski tied for 25th with a score of 9.800.

The GymHawks moved to vault where they finished fifth in the team race with a score of 48.875. Hansen, Simbhudas and sophomore Maya Wickus all tied for 14th with a mark of 9.800 apiece. Gebeshian (9.750) tied for 26th as Sucich and Szatkowski rounded out Iowa’s competitors. The two tied for 32nd with a score of 9.725.

In their final event, the Hawkeyes recorded a 48.575 on bars to finish sixth as a team. With the highest finish of any GymHawk, Gebeshian tied for third with a score of 9.850. Sophomore Emma Stevenson tied for 13th with a 9.825 while Sucich (9.800) tied for 17th. Freshman Tesla Cox posted a 9.725 and tied for 27th.

The Hawkeyes will look to extend their postseason at NCAA Regional competition. Thirty-six teams in Division I women’s gymnastics will be selected, Monday afternoon, to compete throughout six different regional sites, fighting for a berth in the NCAA Championship. Regional competitions will be held April 2.

“Regionals will be an opportunity for us to show what we’re truly capable of, just as we’ve done all season,” added Libby. “A lot of work needs to be done before then, but we’re up to the challenge.”