April 3, 2012
The University of Iowa women's gymnastics team will compete in its fifth-consecutive NCAA Regional event, sixth total under Head Coach Larissa Libby. The GymHawks will travel to Seattle, Wash., to compete in the regional hosted by the University of Washington April 7, at 6 p.m. (CT) at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Iowa team manager Nicole Pineau will offer interactive content live from Alaska Airlines Arena via the Official Iowa Gymnastics Blog. This feature gives Hawkeye fans the opportunity to voice their opinion by submitting questions and comments, while receiving up-to-the-minute play-by-play, notes and stats about the meet and the Hawkeyes. The live blog will begin at approximately 5:45 p.m. (CT) and run throughout the first session.
This year marks Iowa's fifth-consecutive NCAA regional appearance and 12th in program history. The Hawkeyes have advanced to the NCAA Championships twice as a team (2003 and 2004), as five different student-athletes have advanced individually. Most recently, Rebecca Simbhudas advanced as an all-arounder in 2010, as she and Houry Gebeshian both advanced as all-arounders in 2011. Simbhudas is one of three GymHawks to be honored as an All-American.
Iowa will be joined by No. 4 ranked and defending NCAA champion Alabama, No. 9 LSU, No. 16 Arizona, No. 23 Washington and Central Michigan. The GymHawks competed against LSU and Arizona in the Cancun Classic to open the season, and also hosted LSU in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The GymHawks faced 14 teams that qualified for NCAA Regionals this season. All eight Big Ten teams were selected for NCAA Regionals.
Head Coach Larissa Libby
In her eighth season at Iowa, Libby has a career record of 65-72-2. She coached the 2011 GymHawks to an 11-6 record and a sixth place finish at the Big Ten Championships, this coming after a third place finish in 2010, their best finish in six years. Libby coached three All-Big Ten selections in 2011 -- Rebecca Simbhudas, Houry Gebeshian and Jessa Hansen. Libby was named North Central Region Coach of the Year in 2009 for her efforts after guiding the GymHawks to a 10-5 record and a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Regionals. She was also named co-Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2008. Libby served as associate head coach in 2004 and assistant coach from 2001-03 at Iowa before being named head coach in 2005.
The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships, April 20-22, in Duluth, Ga.