Hawkeyes Selected To NCAA Norman Regional

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa women’s gymnastics team will continue its postseason in Norman, Oklahoma.

The Hawkeyes were selected for the NCAA ­­­­­­­­Norman Regional on Monday morning during the 2023 NCAA Selection Show on NCAA.com. The GymHawks will compete on Thursday, March 30 at Lloyd Noble Center on the campus of The University of Oklahoma.

“I think we have a pretty tough team,” said head coach Larissa Libby. “Whose potential is untapped. We have a great shot, whether that’s individually or as a team. Certainly, we are going to focus on doing everything we can over the next seven days to get the team ready.”

Iowa will compete against Alabama, Kentucky, and Illinois. The other session features Arkansas, Ohio State, Oklahoma, NC State and Ball State will compete in the play in for the final spot in the other session.

The top two teams in each of the sessions will advance to the regional final on April 1. The top two teams, the top all-around competitors, and the top event specialist on each event, who are not on an advancing team, from each regional will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships on April 13 and 15 in Fort Worth, Texas.

“I think the country is stacked this year,” said Libby. “Any regional that you would go to it’s going to be difficult. The task is the same no matter where you go. There are tough teams in every regional.”

The GymHawks are one of 36 teams to qualify for the NCAA Regional competition at one of four different sites. To qualify, teams must have a top-36 regional qualifying score (RQS). Iowa’s current RQS of 196.650 ranks 25th in the latest Road to Nationals poll.

“We are really excited,” said freshman Hanna Castillo. “It’s going to be a great experience for all of us. We are going to try to have the most fun we possibly can and do the best that we can. It is going to be easy for us to bring that energy, as a team we are really good at bringing momentum no matter where we are. We know it’s a tight packed arena, which we thrive in, so that’s wonderful.”

Libby has now led Iowa to 23 consecutive NCAA Regional appearances (as a team and/or individuals) during her Hawkeye tenure. The 2023 season is Libby’s 19th as Iowa’s head coach and 23rd overall with the program.

The Hawkeyes finished with a 196.125 last week at the Big Ten Championships. Senior JerQuavia Henderson shared the floor title for her second in her career after posting a 9.950. She currently ranks 12th nationally on the event with a 9.945 avg.

“I think this team has the upmost potential,” said Henderson. “Maybe even more than last year. Yes, it’s on us to build each other and keep that energy going but I think we have a really good chance of moving on.”