March 2015

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107 e team's hard work and ability to step up in different situations has led to success as of late. Iowa had a record-breaking month in February, posting a season-high score of 196.375 against Big Ten foe Illinois on Feb. 14 and acquiring top 25 national ranking. e Hawkeyes are ranked 24th among 80 women's gymnastics programs in the country — the team's first national ranking since 2011. "e reason that we are successful right now is because of the total team effort," Libby said. "It has not been about coaching, it's been about them taking initiative and taking control of who they want to be. ey have set the standard for themselves. at has made a tremendous difference and they work for it, strive for it, every single day to make what they do in practice mimic what should happen in competition." Despite their accomplishments, the GymHawks understand there is still work to be done to prepare for championship season. "I think this team is mentally where they need to be," said Libby. "ey are focused on themselves and getting the job done and creating their own environment, so as far as that, if we can keep everyone healthy, I think we are really headed in the right direction. e Big Ten is tough this year. It's going to take every landing and every handstand to make the difference, so those are the things we are working on in practice that I believe will pay off in the end." W ith the end of the regular season approaching, the University of Iowa women's gymnastics team is focusing attention on preserving and recovering. "Our kids are improving every day and we are trying to make sure we have enough people on every lineup ready to go," said UI head coach Larissa Libby. "ey have been competing three or four events every week since the beginning of January, so it's starting to take its toll. "We have to have more people ready. We are trying to do efficient practices and focus on the recovery aspect. Aer each competition and each practice, making sure that everyone is hydrated and everyone is stretched out." e GymHawks are also preparing to step into roles they are not accustomed to, in order to prevent wearing down individuals. "As we are heading into the back half of the season, the most important thing besides the recovery is that we have enough people to go the distance," said Libby. "What if someone is tired? We have already been in the situation twice where some of our key players are sick, and it's likely to happen. We have to make sure we are training everybody to take on a different role at any part of the season. We are working hard to make sure we have enough people on every event that are healthy, strong, and ready to go at any point." MARCH SCHEDULE March 6 Iowa State March 14 at Big Five Meet (Minneapolis) March 21 at Big Ten Championships (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

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