April 15, 2011
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Cleveland, Ohio – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team was able to showcase seniors Rebecca Simbhudas and Houry Gebeshian at the 2011 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships Friday evening. The pair of Hawkeye standouts competed as individual all-around competitors on the largest stage in NCAA women’s gymnastics. Both gymnasts competed in the second of two sessions during Friday’s action. Alabama won the second session with a mark of 197.050. Nebraska (196.850) placed second while Utah (196.200) finished third. Kent State is hosting the championships at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
Simbhudas, a returning All-American and two-time first team all-Big Ten selection, rotated with second-ranked Alabama and finished ninth in the session two all-around competition. The Markham, Ontario, native posted a meet total of 39.200. After a bye in the first rotation Simbhudas, along with the Crimson Tide, took on floor and vault in the second and third rotations, respectively. Simbhudas tied for 21st in both events with identical scores of 9.825. After a bye in the fourth rotation, the North Central Region Gymnast of the Year competed on bars in the fifth. She tied for 24th with a score of 9.800. Simbhudas finished the meet on beam where she posted a 9.750 to tie for eleventh.
“Rebecca fought hard the entire year and ended her season no differently,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “She had a good meet and has represented the University of Iowa very well since the day she got here.”
Gebeshian competed alongside No. 3 Oregon State, placing 20th in the all-around competition with a mark of 38.125. The two-time second team all-Big Ten selection began session two on floor where she finished tied for 25th with a 9.800, her highest mark of the meet. Gebeshian then tied for 33rd on vault (9.775) before taking a bye in the third rotation. She placed 41st on bars (9.050) and finished the meet tied for 38th on beam with a mark of 9.500.
“Houry began the meet flying high but wasn’t quite able to settle in for the second half,” said Libby. “This was an invaluable experience for her as she’ll continue to work towards the World Championships followed by the Olympics. In order to be the best, you need to experience this level of competition and Houry learned things this week that she’ll carry throughout her career.”
Simbhudas and Gebeshian are part of a senior class, including Andrea Hurlburt and Arielle Sucich, which led the GymHawks to one of the most impressive seasons in program history. Iowa finished its regular season ranked 15th in the country and went into the NCAA Corvallis Regional seeded third, Libby’s fifth regional appearance in seven seasons. In the 2011 season alone, Simbhudas and Gebeshian combined for 29 individual event titles, including nine all-around titles.
“It was bittersweet to see these girls compete today,” added Libby. “It’s tough to watch them finish their collegiate careers, but it’s great to see what they’ve accomplished and what they’ve contributed to our program.”