Dec. 2, 2015
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will host the annual Black and Gold Intrasquad on Saturday at 11 a.m. (CT) inside the UI Field House. While the event is a staple in the GymHawk’s schedule, this year’s event holds more significance.
“We compete very early this season in the Cancun Classic on January 2, which is far earlier than normal,” said head coach Larissa Libby. “While we normally use the Black and Gold for ideally the same thing every year — getting the team ready to compete again, in front of a crowd, under the same format. This year it is a little more important because we have to narrow down the line up sooner.”
With eight newcomers added to this season’s roster, the task to find a lineup with the right chemistry is a little more daunting.
“We have 22 athletes on our roster so it is a significantly larger team than we have had in the past, meaning more people to choose from,” said Libby. “Which is a great thing but also a bad thing. While we are looking to give everyone a shot, we need to really evaluate how the girls perform in these circumstances and from there we can choose the most effective competitors.”
While the meet serves a greater purpose, the event is still meant to be a fun way to get the GymHawks back on the mats and in front of a crowd.
“While it is still meant to be fun and more of a crowd environment, for us we are going to be looking at different things,” said Libby. “We need to find the girls and the lineup that are going to get us closest to that 196 threshold the first meet out. That in itself is going to be difficult because it is an international meet with a lot of travel. We are going to be looking a little harder at who does what at this intrasquad.”
Fans in attendance will have the chance to meet Santa Claus. The first 100 fans will also receive a free Iowa Gymnastics Tree Ornament. In keeping with the spirit of the season, the GymHawks ask those in attendance to bring a canned food item to be donated.