Jan. 17, 2012
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a co-ed meet against Illinois Jan. 21. The Big Ten matchup will conclude a two-meet home stand and is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. (CT).
A member of the Iowa gymnastics staff will offer interactive content live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena via the Official Iowa Gymnastics Blog. This feature gives diehard Hawkeye fans the opportunity to voice their opinion by submitting questions and comments, while receiving up-to-the-minute play-by-play, notes and stats about the meet and Hawkeyes. The live blog will begin at approximately 4:45 p.m. (CT) and run throughout the meet.
Last Time Out
The GymHawks improved to a record of 2-3 with a 193.225-190.175 win over Michigan State Jan. 13. Iowa hosted the Spartans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and beat the Big Ten foe in three of four events. Freshman Emma Willis won the all-around competition with a score of 38.775. Senior Jessa Hansen finished in the top-four of all three events she competed in and won the title on beam with a 9.825.
The 15th-ranked Fighting Illini opened their season with a 194.725-192.800 win over No. 22 Minnesota, the highest season-opening score in program history. Illinois topped the Golden Gophers on bars, beam and floor on their way to just the second score of 194 or better in a season-opener. Sophomore Amber See tallied the highest Illini score of the meet with a 9.850 to win her second career title on floor.
Head Coach Larissa Libby
In her eighth season at Iowa, Libby has a career record of 65-71-1. The Hawkeyes are searching for their fifth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance, the sixth in Libby’s tenure. She coached the 2011 GymHawks to an 11-6 record and sixth place finish at the Big Ten Championships, this coming after a third place finish in 2010, their best finish in six years. Libby coached three all-Big Ten selections in 2011 – Rebecca Simbhudas, Houry Gebeshian and Jessa Hansen. Libby 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 GymHawks will look to take care of their part in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series with a meet at Iowa State Jan. 27. Competition will be held in Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, and is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. (CT).