May 23, 2013
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GymHawks Make Sixth-Straight NCAA Appearance
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team was selected to compete in NCAA Regional competition for the sixth-straight year under head coach Larissa Libby. The GymHawks were one of just 36 teams to receive an invitation to regional competition at one of six different sites. Freshman Kyra Trowbridge, Iowa’s top scorer on floor and vault, tied for third place on vault, with a career-best 9.900. Iowa scored 194.475 for sixth place, while No. 2 Oklahoma won the meet, totaling 197.375. No. 11 Stanford earned second (196.800) followed by No. 22 Washington (195.925), No. 14 Penn State (195.875) and Southern Utah (194.850).
Trowbridge Rises to the Occasion
Freshman Kyra Trowbridge contributed on three of the four events in every meet. The Fredericksburg, Va., native was the Hawkeye lead scorer on floor, earning 9.900 on five occasions. While Trowbridge was steady throughout the season, she peaked when it counted. Trowbridge led Iowa on beam (9.675), floor (9.900) and vault (9.825) at the 2013 Big Ten Championships, matching her career best on floor for the fifth time, tying for sixth place. At the 2013 NCAA Regional Championships, Trowbridge led Iowa on floor (9.850) and vault (9.900), tying for third on vault with Oklahoma freshman Maile’ana Kanewa, Stanford senior Nicole Dayton and Stanford freshman Taylor Rice.
Emma Stevenson averaged 9.837 on bars and 9.858 on floor, hitting 100 percent of her routines this season. Maya Wickus also hit every routine, averaging 9.755 on vault and 9.773 on bars. Kaitlynn Urano had a stellar season, competing on the bars, beam and floor in every meet before breaking her tibia and fibula. Urano averaged 9.731 on bars, 9.675 on beam and 9.728 on floor. While no senior carried the highest individual average, they proved to be the most reliable, with the highest hit percentage.
Alie Glover, Big Ten Freshman of the Week
Freshman>Alie Glover earned her first Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolade after capturing the all-around title (39.050) in the tri-meet against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago. Glover led Iowa to its season-high team performance (195.875) and first-place finish. In addition to the all-around title, the Destin, Fla., native placed in the top seven in three events. Glover tied for third on the bars with a career-best 9.825, placed fifth on the floor (9.800) and seventh on the beam (9.750). Due to her consistency under pressure, Glover competes in the lead-off position on three of the four events (bars, beam and floor). The freshman was Iowa’s only athlete to compete in the all-around in every meet this season. The honor marked the first time an Iowa gymnast won Freshman of the Week since Emma Willis (Jan. 9, 2012).
Record Attendance at Carver
Iowa won all four of its home meets and recorded its highest-ever average home attendance (1,414) in 2013, with a season-high 2,303 in attendance against Iowa State (3/8). In 2012, the GymHawks drew an average of 940 fans. Before 2013, Iowa’s record was an average of 1,307 fans in 2001. Iowa currently ranks 30th-nationally in average home attendance.
GymHawks Upset B1G Regular Season Champs
Iowa was the only Big Ten team to down Minnesota, the regular season Big Ten Co-Champions, in a dual meet. The Hawkeyes beat the Gophers, 195.725-195.550, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (2/22). Sophomore Emma Willis won the vault (9.900) and tied with senior Emma Stevenson for the bars title (9.825). Senior Emma Stevenson captured the floor title, tying a career-high 9.900.
Clinching the Cy-Hawk Series
The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team clinched the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series with a 196.375-194.575 victory over Iowa State (3/8). Iowa performed without senior Kaitlynn Urano, who suffered a leg injury in practice prior to the dual. With a season-high attendance mark (2,303), the GymHawks rallied to remain undefeated at home. The Cy-Hawk showdown, which concluded Iowa’s homestand, marked the seniors’ last time competing in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Senior Maya Wickus earned a season-best 9.875 on the vault, tying for second with sophomore teammates Sydney Hoerr and Emma Willis. Senior Emma Stevenson tied for the bars title with Iowa State junior Camille Santerre-Gervais (9.850) and capped off the night anchoring the floor lineup (9.875), tying for second with Hoerr. Iowa grabbed the top-three all-around spots. Hoerr won the all-around title, totaling a career-best 39.400. Willis trailed with 39.275, while freshman>Alie Glover finished third (38.975). Iowa State senior Elizabeth Stranahan placed fourth with 38.750
The majority of GymHawks are underclassmen, with eight freshmen, four sophomores, three seniors and no juniors. With senior Kaitlynn Urano out with a fractured tibia and fibula, 20 of Iowa’s 24 routines were contributed by underclassmen to conclude the season.
Big Life, Big Stage, Big Ten
All eight Big Ten schools competed in the NCAA Regional Championships. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State represented the conference in team competition, while three Michigan State gymnasts competed in individual events. Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota earned berths to the national meet, while Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State advanced individual gymnasts to the NCAA Championships. At the 2013 NCAA Championships, seven Big Ten gymnasts posted top-10 individual finishes, led by Michigan junior Joanna Sampson’s floor title. Minnesota freshman Hanna Nordquist and Michigan senior Katie Zurales tied for second on beam. The Wolverines and Gophers placed fourth in the prelims, while the Illini finished fifth.
Excellence in the Classroom
Four GymHawks, sophomore Sydney Hoerr, senior Emma Stevenson, senior Kaitlynn Urano and sophomore Emma Willis, were named to the 2013 Big Ten Winter Academic All-Conference team. To be eligible for academic All-Big Ten honors, student-athletes must be letterwinners and in at least their second academic year at the institution. They must also carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better. Stevenson and Urano are three-time Academic All-Big Ten selections.
Despite three season-ending injuries and an inexperienced squad, the GymHawks shined in their regular season, finishing its homestand undefeated. Much of Iowa’s success is credited to an acronym created during the preseason and the team’s relentless effort of carrying it out. The acronym is U.N.I.D.D., which stands for unstoppable, noticeable, intensity, discipline and destroy. The greatest display of “U.N.I.D.D.” was showcased when Kaitlynn Urano suffered a broken tibia and fibula the day before senior night against Iowa State. Despite the tremendous adversity, Iowa rallied to down the Cyclones, 196.375-194.575, and clinch the Cy-Hawk Series. Without Urano on three events (bars, beam and floor), the GymHawks earned their season-best score, along with individual titles on vault, bars, floor and in the all-around.
The GymHawks will lose tremendous leadership from the senior class — Emma Stevenson, Kaitlynn Urano and Maya Wickus — but will only lose four of their 24 competitive routines. With no juniors on the roster, Iowa will lack a senior class in 2014. However, after two years of competitive experience, sophomores Sydney Hoerr and Emma Willis will be expected to lead the team, on and off the mats.
Iowa will also return major freshmen contributors,>Alie Glover and Kyra Trowbridge. Glover competed in the all-around in every competition, earning Big Ten Freshman of the Week Honors after capturing the all-around title (39.050) in the tri-meet against Michigan State and Illinois-Chicago. Trowbridge, cool under pressure, was the lead Hawkeye scorer on floor, earning 9.900 five times, and tying for sixth at the Big Ten Championships. Trowbridge earned a season-best 9.900 on vault at the NCAA Regional Championships, tying for third.
The GymHawks will also add some new blood with the addition of three freshmen on scholarship, Amanda Kowalski, Angel Metcalf and Lexi Mura. Kowalski, of West Chester, Ohio, finished fifth in the all-around at the 2012 Region 5 Championship and sixth in the all-around at the Junior Olympic National Championship. In 2013, Kowalski won the beam title at the City of Lights Invitational. Metcalf is a 2012 Junior Olympic National Invitational Tournament beam silver medalist and finished seventh on beam at the 2013 Junior Olympic National Championships. Mura placed second in the all-around and first on the balance beam at the 2012 Junior Olympic NIT Championships. The Belleville, Ill., native placed third in the all-around at the 2013 Illinois State Championships and qualified for the Region 5 Championships.