Nov. 30, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa men's and women's gymnastics teams will showcase their talents at the annual Black and Gold Intrasquad meet Dec. 4 inside the UI Field House. Women's head coach Larissa Libby and men's head coach JD Reive will display their 2012 squads beginning at 2 p.m. (CT). The meet is free admission and open to the public.
Libby's GymHawks are coming off an 11-6 record during the 2010-11 season, including an undefeated mark at home. They will be working for a fifth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance after qualifying for the NCAA Corvallis Regional in 2011. With seven returning letterwinners, the Hawkeyes will be led by senior All-Big Ten honoree Jessa Hansen. Of its nine academic All-Big Ten honorees from last season, Iowa will return six (seniors Rachel Corcoran, Jordan Eszlinger, Annie Szatkowski and Hansen, along with juniors Emma Stevenson and Kaitlynn Urano). Entering her eighth season at the helm, Libby will be assisted by the 2011 North Central Region Assistant Coaches of the Year Caleb Phillips and Linas Gaveika.
"There are very few college programs left in the country that have both men's and women's gymnastics, so this is a great opportunity to showcase gymnastics at its finest," said Libby. "It's meant to be fun for the fans more than anything else. It's really hard to duplicate a competitive situation, but this is as close as you can get with the crowd, the judges and the lineups. This is also an opportunity to see what the younger student-athletes can do under pressure and for them to get that experience before our first meet."
Reive is entering his second season at the helm of the men's squad after working as an assistant coach at Stanford for seven years. The Hawkeyes return 12 letterwinners from 2010-11, including junior and returning NCAA All-American Matt McGrath. Senior Adam Wilson, juniors McGrath, Todd Becker, Timm Krueger and sophomore Jack McClay all earned academic All-Big Ten honors in 2011 and return for the upcoming season. Reive is assisted by Spencer Slaton and Brad Virkler.
"This is an opportunity for us to get in front of judges and our fans," said Reive. "It's early in the season, but it gives us a great chance to evaluate where we stand before the holiday season and before things really get started for us."