Frosh GymHawk Trowbridge has already made an impact

BY MATT CABEL | JANUARY 23, 2013 5:00 AM

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Kyra Trowbridge’s mindset worked.

The Fredericksburg, Va., native made an immediate impact for the GymHawks in their meet against Ball State on Jan. 11. Her 9.850 floor score won her first place in the event and helped deliver a victory for her team in their season-opening meet. She ranks 34th in the nation for her floor performances after the season’s first two meets.

“I was nervous, all before the meet, the week prior to the meet, and the day of the meet,” Trowbridge said. “But once we got in there and I experienced it with my teammates, everyone calmed me down, and it was just a lot of fun.”

Iowa women’s gymnastics head coach Larissa Libby called the performance “phenomenal’ after the meet. Trowbridge’s immediate effect is even more impressive given that she only joined the team during winter break — she graduated from Stafford Senior High after the fall semester of her senior year.

“Maybe she’s at a disadvantage, but you wouldn’t really notice, watching her,” senior Emma Stevenson said. “She trains well, she’s obviously been competing pretty well. She’s acclimating a lot better than I can say a lot of people probably would, which is good for us and her.”

Despite Trowbridge’s lack of practice time with the team, Libby said she is only at a disadvantage in terms of the strength and conditioning training the team has done, resulting in the coaching staff being cautious with her from to prevent injury. While the rest of the team received the training during the preseason workouts, Trowbridge has the workouts implemented into her regular practices.

“We’re also still learning with her,” Libby said. “We’ve had four months to work with everybody and learn their tendencies, how much they can handle. We’re still working with her; we don’t know her threshold yet.”

Trowbridge, who has done gymnastics since she was 4, was recruited by the Hawkeyes for her skills on beam and vault. The young squad has put her talents to use in its first two meets, having her compete in vault, beam, and floor. Trowbridge scored a 9.75 on the vault against Ohio State on Jan. 19 but struggled on the beam, only scoring a 9.15.

Having thrown Trowbridge into the mix of things during the winter break only upped the competition for spots in the rotation. This was a change Libby believed to be healthy for her squad.
“Everybody wants a spot, and her coming in and being ready to go in [vault, beam, and floor] just made everybody else have to pick it up a notch so they wouldn’t have a spot that was taken. They never saw her that whole time, so they didn’t know, they were very complacent with where they were, and then she came in and could take three events.”

Both Trowbridge and Libby know that, despite the early success, the freshman can improve. Libby has high expectations for Trowbridge going into this weekend’s meet against Penn State and hopes that she’ll work up to winning the beam.

“I’m trying to mentally prepare myself more,” Trowbridge said. “I know my gymnastics are there, but I have to be mentally strong and know that I’m going to go 3/3 on my events.”

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