March 9, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa – Senior Jessa Hansen won three event titles, including the all-around competition, as the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team posted a score of 195.700 against Louisiana State. The Tigers won the meet with a mark of 196.300. Action was held inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, home of the 2012 Big Ten Championships.
“Tonight felt really good for us and it’s what we need,” said Head Coach Larissa Libby. “We’re coming off a great first place finish on the road and for us to keep that ball rolling is great. We can continue this week with our chins up and standing a little taller.”
The GymHawks began the meet on vault where they tied a season high team mark of 49.075. Junior Emma Stevenson paced Iowa with a score of 9.875. The Winfield, Ill., native tied for third place. Junior Maya Wickus tied for fifth with a 9.825 as Hansen and sophomore Tesla Cox tied for seventh, posting a 9.800 apiece.
Iowa moved to bars in the second rotation where it scored a 49.050. Cox, along with junior Kaitlynn Urano, recorded the high mark for the Hawkeyes to tie for third in the event. Each gymnast earned a 9.850 which stands as a season best for both. Stevenson and Hansen each scored a 9.825 to tie for fifth.
The Hawkeyes tallied a team mark of 48.550 on beam. Hansen won the event title with a career high of 9.900. Cox and freshman Sydney Hoerr tied for sixth with scores of 9.725 as freshman Emily Bigras (9.700) finished eighth.
The GymHawks finished the meet on floor where they posted a 49.025. Hansen won another title in the event, tying a season high of 9.900. Stevenson earned a score of 9.850 for the third-consecutive meet and finished in a tie for third. Willis tied for fifth with a 9.825 while senior Rachel Corcoran (9.775) tied for eighth.
Hansen tied a career best of 39.425 in the all-around competition to bring home her second title of the season. The Clive, Iowa, native topped three of the nation’s top-20 individual all-around competitors (Jessie Jordan, Lloimincia Hall and Rheagan Courville). Iowa’s only other all-around competitor, freshman Emma Willis, finished in sixth with a score of 38.325.
“This was a great all-around title for Jessa to get”, said Libby. “She’s been working really hard to get back to her championship form. You could tell when she stepped out on the floor that she was ready to go. When she steps up, there isn’t a doubt in her mind that she’s going to get the job done.”
The Hawkeyes will close out their regular season with a trip to Denver, Colo. on March 17. Along with Iowa, Denver University will host Minnesota and Arizona State. Action will be held inside Hamilton Gymnasium and is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. (CT).
“This final regular season meet will be a big opportunity for us to continue our momentum,” said Libby. “In the past we’ve had a tendency to burn out right around this time, but I’m happy with where we’re at right now. We’re turning it around, gaining confidence and we’re just now getting started.”