Feb. 21, 2012
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team is set to host Big Ten rival Minnesota on Friday evening beginning at 7 p.m. (CT). The GymHawks look to make it two-straight home wins inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, site of the 2012 Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championships.
Iowa team manager Nicole Pineau will offer interactive content live from Carver-Hawkeye Arena via the Official Iowa Gymnastics Blog. This feature gives 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 the Hawkeyes. The live blog will begin at approximately 6:45 p.m. (CT) and run throughout the meet.
Elementary School Day
Friday’s meet will celebrate Elementary School Day. A pre-meet face painter and clown will be along the concourse in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, along with the pre-meet Kids’ Zone. Fans can also register to win a pair Big Ten Women’s Gymnastics Championship tickets as the GymHawks sign autographs after the meet. Tickets are $3 for adults and free to youth under 18 and UI students.
Last Time Out
The Hawkeyes topped Iowa State, 194.150-192.750, on Feb. 17 as junior Emma Stevenson won a pair of event titles for the Black and Gold. After a first place finish on bars (9.825) for the second-consecutive meet, Stevenson posted a 9.850 on floor to bring home her third title in eight days. Senior Jessa Hansen won the all-around competition (39.025) after remaining out of the event since the first week in January.
Scouting the Golden Gophers
Minnesota, ranked 22nd in the country, was defeated by No. 9 Nebraska, 196.850.196.150, on Feb. 18. The Golden Gopher’s lone event champion came from junior Janell Campbell who posted a 9.900 on floor exercise. Sophomore Dusti Russell was Minnesota’s highest all-around finisher with a fourth place mark of 39.325.
Head Coach Larissa Libby
In her eighth season at Iowa, Libby has a career record of 65-72-2. 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 a 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 after 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 return to the road for a four-team meet hosted by Texas Women’s University on March 3 in Denton, Texas. Along with TWU, the GymHawk’s will see Brigham Young and Southeast Missouri State. Action is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. (CT).