February 2013

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Perseverance Pays By Jessa Hansen E mma Stevenson, a senior on the University of Iowa Stevenson had a standout year in 2012. She competed women's gymnastics team, is the go-to girl, and she is on three events and was named to the All-Big Ten comfortable with that. Championship Team after scoring 9.875 on the floor exercise. However, Stevenson, a true team player, says that No matter the condition, Stevenson reels in big scores and her most memorable moment as a Hawkeye was standing radiates a calm, quiet confidence. After four surgeries and on the Big Ten podium with her team in 2010. overcoming major injuries, Stevenson credits her success to mental strength and perseverance. "I'll never forget the 2010 Big Ten Championships — the energy, the excitement and everything that went along with "Never give up," said Stevenson. "Bad days come and go, it," said Stevenson. "Nobody thought we would be near the but in the end they are just funny memories that you look top going into the meet, but we hit, hit, hit and showed that back on. Just because you have setbacks, a tough preseason we were contenders. We placed third, and it was such an or a couple injuries, doesn't mean that you're down for the accomplishment to stand on the Big Ten podium. I hope we count." can relive that feeling this season." From the time she stepped on the competition floor, Stevenson made it known that she would be a reliable team player. "During my touch warm-up freshman year, (head coach) Larissa (Libby) put me in the floor lineup last minute," said Stevenson. "She asked, 'Can I count on you?' I felt incredibly nervous because it was my collegiate debut on floor, but I said yes. From then on, I knew that I was counted on and had to be prepared no matter what. I knew I had to have confidence, regardless of how practice or warm-ups went, because all of my training has prepared me for this." 21 Stevenson has accomplished a lot during her collegiate career, but the 2013 season is just starting. The senior wants to regain her spot on the All-Big Ten Championship Team and be named to the All-Big Ten team, but her focus is on the Hawkeye team. "I would love to make it to the NCAA Championships, and I think this team is capable," said Stevenson. "We are a small, tight-knit group, and that is how we do the best. I also want to repeat a top-three finish at Big Ten's. Conference competition is very close, so it will be anyone's day."

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