GymHawks Add 3 for 2021

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Three prep gymnasts – Josie Bergstrom, Alexa Ebeling, and Kendall Laplante – will join the University of Iowa women’s gymnastics program in the fall of 2021, it was announced Friday by head coach Larissa Libby.

Below is a rundown on each of the signees.

Josie Bergstrom \\ All-Around \\ Boyden, Iowa \\ Boyden-Hull High School \\ VIP Gymnastics

  • Won the bars and all-around at 2020 Metroplex Challenge… won bars, beam, and all-around at 2020 All-American Invite… finals qualifier, placing third on bars and fourth on vault at 2020 Northern Lights Classic
  • Two-time J.O. National qualifier… placed 12th on bars (9.45), 15th in all-around (37.45), and 18th on vault (9.525) at nationals
  • Won vault and was second on bars, floor, and all-around at 2019 regionals… runner-up on beam, floor, and all-around at 2019 state meet
  • Competed at state, regionals, and Western Championships as an eighth grader… was Level 9 state and regional bar champion and finished second in all-around at Western Championships
  • National Honor Society inductee

Why Iowa?
“Since attending my first GymHawk gymnastics meet as a young, 12-year-old gymnast, the University of Iowa has always been my dream school. From the experiences at camp with the coaches and gymnasts, I felt at home.”

Libby on Bergstrom
“We’re excited to welcome Josie to the GymHawks. An excellent overall competitor and even stronger student academically, we believe Josie will be a great asset to our team. We have had several opportunities to see Josie both in practice and competition settings and have always been impressed. We know that she will make an excellent addition to our team and we’re happy that she is officially a Hawkeye.”

Alexa Ebeling \\ All-Around \\ Adel, Iowa \\ Adel Desoto Minburn High School \\ Chow Gymnastics

  • 2019 National qualifier
  • Was runner-up in the all-around at Chow’s Challenge with a 37.4
  • Named Chow Gymnastics’ Athlete of the Year as a sophomore
  • Personal bests are: Floor Exercise (9.7), Vault (9.525), Balance Beam (9.65), Uneven Bars (9.25), All-Around (37.4)
  • High school coach is former Hawkeye Rebecca Simbhudas and Sean Gardner

Why Iowa?
“I chose the University of Iowa because I love the atmosphere of the team. The coaches are so welcoming, and it feels like a home away from home. I can’t wait to do the sport I love and meet so many amazing people along the way.”

Libby on Ebeling
“I am so pleased that Alexa will be joining our team. There’s nothing better than keeping the “hometown girl” in the state. Alexa has spent her club gymnastics days training at Chow’s Gymnastics in Des Moines., Iowa. In choosing our program, Alexa will follow in the footsteps of not only her club teammate, Allie Gilchrist, but also assistant coach, Jessa Hansen Parker and Rebecca Simbudas – former GymHawk and Alexa’s current beam coach.

“Alexa’s gymnastics is stunning to watch. Her beautiful long lines and ease of movement between skills will bring a new look to the GymHawks. We are thrilled that Alexa will follow her Black and Gold lineage to join the Hawkeyes.”

Kendall Laplante \\ All-Around \\ Seminole, Fla. \\ Seminole High School \\Tampa Bay Turners Gymnastics

  • Two-time Florida State Beam Champion (2017, 2019)… also was the Florida State Vault Champion in 2017
  • Two-time Regional and National qualifier (2017, 2019)
  • Won all five events at Delta Classic in 2020, won floor and tied for first on vault at 2020 City of Lights, won four events at 2019 Pink Invitational
  • Posted four top 10 finishes at Nationals in 2019 (tied for third in all-around (37.825), fifth on beam (9.475), tied for ninth on vault (9.5), and 10th in floor (9.475)
  • Finished in top six at state in five events in 2019… first (beam), second (vault, floor), third (all-around), sixth (bars)
  • Won beam at 2017 regionals, was second on vault, fourth on floor, and tied for sixth in all-around
  • Also was a Florida diving and swimming state qualifier in 2017
  •  National Honor Society, PTK National Honor Society, 2019 & 2020 Top 10 Percent of graduating class
  •  Member of Senior Student Government in 2020

Why Iowa?
“I chose the University of Iowa because it feels like home. From the second I walked on campus, I fell in love. The team and coaching staff added to that feeling. At the moment, I knew I belonged and nothing could change my mind.”

Libby on Laplante
“From the first time we saw Kendall, we knew she would be a wonderful addition to our team. Her incredible skill, infectious personality, coupled with her desire to grow both as a person and an athlete, made her the perfect choice for Iowa gymnastics.”