March 29, 2011
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The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team travels to Corvallis, Ore., to compete in the Oregon State-hosted NCAA Regional Saturday, April 2. The Beavers host the event in Gill Coliseum, beginning at 6 p.m. (CT). Fans can follow the action via the Iowa Gymnastics Live Blog on hawkeyesports.com.
Each of the six regional meets will host six teams, five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual event specialist per event. In order of their seedings (with regional qualifying score), the Corvallis Regional will host No. 3 Oregon State (196.770), No. 10 Nebraska (196.275), No. 15 Iowa (195.820), Southern Utah (194.925), San Jose State (194.525) and Michigan State (194.145).
The Hawkeyes have made a total of 11 regional appearances, earning a top-three seeding four times. Head coach Larissa Libby has guided the GymHawks to five regional appearances in seven seasons, including each of the last four seasons. The Hawkeyes have advanced to the NCAA Championships two times as a team (2003, 2004) and advanced four individuals, including returning All-American Rebecca Simbhudas in 2010.
Heading into regional competition, Rebecca Simbhudas is the 13th-ranked all-around competitor in the nation with a regional qualifying score of 39.335. Simbhudas closed the regular season with nine all-around titles, including seven-consecutive crowns. Additionally, Simbhudas is No. 9 on beam (9.885), while junior Jessa Hansen is ranked ninth on floor (9.890).
Head Coach Larissa Libby
In her seventh season at Iowa, Libby has a career record of 55-64-1. 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.
The top two finishers from each of the six regional locations will advance to the NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, April 15-17. Additionally, each event winner (if not on an advancing team) will earn in a berth in the Championships.