March 23, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team has been selected to compete in NCAA Regional competition at the Auburn, Alabama site. The GymHawks were one of just 36 teams to qualify for regional competition at one of six different sites.
“To be honest, I am just excited that our name is up there at all, so to be included as a fourth seed is very exciting. I’m glad for the girls, as to where the destination is because there are a lot of regionals around the country and I know that Auburn has an environment that is unlike many others,” said head coach Larissa Libby. “Its going to be an amazing place to go, a fabulous experience, and three of the teams we have already seen; so it is not going to be that much of a shock for us.”
Iowa will join No. 5 Alabama, No. 8 Auburn, No. 17 Minnesota, Maryland and George Washington in the Auburn, Alabama, regional. Competition will begin at 6 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, April 4, in the Auburn Arena.
The top two teams, event winners and top two all-around competitors not on an advancing team will qualify to the national championships in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 17-19.
The NCAA also announced the rotation schedule for each regional. Iowa will start with a bye then rotate to the floor, vault, bars and beam, with another bye before bars.
“It’s a really great feeling. We have just come so far since last year and we are so proud of ourselves, but we still have work to do and things to work on so I think it’s a great experience,” said sophomore Angel Metcalf. “Your whole team is there and it is so much more fun when everyone is there. It was fun as an individual, but with your whole team it’s just a different experience.”
Iowa has had representation at every NCAA Regionals since 2005 — with three seasons of individual representation and eight team appearances. Libby has led Iowa to eight NCAA postseason appearances in 11 seasons. Last time the GymHawks saw postseason action in 2013 at the Norman, Oklahoma Regional, they tallied a 194.475 and finished sixth overall.
Last year, six GymHawks were selected to compete at the Minneapolis Regional — senior Sydney Hoerr (all-around), juniors Alie Glover (all-around) and Maryah Huntley (alternate on floor), and sophomores Angel Metcalf (all-around), Jordyn Doherty (vault) and Mollie Drenth (floor).
“It feels so great. It is such an accomplishment, knowing the work we put in everyday and it feels amazing that it is finally paying off. Just seeing our name up there, knowing we are being recognized for the hard work we are doing is the best feeling,” said sophomore Mollie Drenth. “Its lonely not having the whole team. Just having all the girls there just gives you that extra confidence and when they are not there with you everything seems a lot harder. We are excited to go as a team.”