May 2019

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27 O ver the last 19 years a tradition has been upheld for the University of Iowa women's gymnastics program. It has become a standard ingrained into the program, the standard of making it to NCAA Regionals. Iowa head coach Larissa Libby has coached the GymHawks 19 years — 15 as head coach. For 19 straight seasons, Iowa women's gymnastics has been represented at the NCAA Championships. is year, the road to postseason was more gratifying than others. "is qualification was one of the premier moments in my coaching career, almost better than when we qualified for nationals because it was a long road for us," Libby said. "We are blessed that the back half of the season was better than the first half. Anybody will tell you that I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason," at mentality held true March 25 when the GymHawks qualified for the NCAA Corvallis, Oregon, Regional. "We talked about it on the way home from Big Tens and what each place would bring for us," senior Nicole Chow said. "ere was a great opportunity with every place." e best advantage about Iowa being in Corvallis is that the team had been there before — three weeks before to be exact. Although the GymHawks had already competed in Corvallis on March 15, they were looking to do better than the last time they were in town. "We didn't do overly great there (in March)," Libby said. "We went there with a different outlook. Not just to go, but to get aer it." e "getting aer it" way of thinking goes all the way from Libby down to the freshmen who competed in their first Regional. "We expected to win on ursday and expected to win on Friday and expected to get to Saturday. We expected that out of ourselves," freshman Lauren Guerin said. Guerin scored seven 9.900's on floor this year, and was named second-team All-Big Ten. Chow, another second-team All-Big Ten member, had confidence in her team as well. "We progressively got better over the season and everyone knew their roll," Chow said. "We're a well-oiled machine. We were ready to have fun and do well." When the GymHawks entered Gill Coliseum on April 5, they were upholding a standard that had existed since they were born. "We wanted to put it all out there and we did. Every time we performed, we knew that it could be our last chance this season. It made us think less about trying to be perfect and nail all the details and really go for it," Kranitz said. Iowa ended its season ranked No. 31 in the country with a regional qualifying score of 195.705.

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