Gymnasts bid farewell to senior teammates at season end


Jonathan Krueger/Iowa State Dail

Senior Henrietta Green competes in the floor exercise on March 7 at Hilton Coliseum. Green received a 9.9 for her floor routine in the Cyclones’ 195.925-192.775 victory against Iowa.

Max Dible

The Iowa State gymnastics team said goodbye to six seniors April 5 when it took third place in the NCAA regional tournament in Baton Rouge, La. and missed qualifying for the NCAA championships by less than a point.

The Cyclones (5-11, 2-2 Big 12) posted a final score of 196.350, but it was not enough to keep pace with LSU and Stanford, which claimed first and second place in the region respectively.

The sole individual qualifier for the NCAA championships was junior Caitlin Brown in the all-around competition, which meant that for the rest of the squad the season had come to an end.

For the six seniors on the team, the end of the season marked the end of their gymnastics careers at Iowa State.

“When I saw the total tally, that is when it hit me that I was done with gymnastics,” said senior Henrietta Green. “It hurt a little bit. It has been a great time.

“I think my body is ready to be done, but it is still a shock that I am not going to be out there on the floor anymore. It was kind of a bittersweet moment … but it is time to start a new chapter in my life.”

Senior Milan Ivory echoed Green’s sentiments, adding that her entire senior season has been a joyful ride and that in her final meet she savored every moment.

“I enjoyed every part of it,” Ivory said. “We did well as a team all season … and coming out with third place as a team [at regionals] was wonderful.”

The last hurrah for the ISU seniors was emotional for Brown as well, who talked about what it will be like to continue on without them.

“It will be so different. [The seniors] have kind of been my class,” Brown said. “They sort of adopted me because I came in alone, so it is going to be crazy with them gone. I am going to miss them a lot. They are like my sisters.”

Although Brown was the star of the evening, the senior class made its mark in the final performance of the season, as Green and Ivory each finished in a tie for fifth place on the floor event.

Green also tied for eighth on bars as did senior Michele Shealy, who fought her way back from injury to re-enter the regular rotation late in the year.

Senior Camille Santerre-Gervais tied an ISU school record on three separate occasions this season with scores of 9.950 on bars, but struggled in that event Saturday.

Santerre-Gervais balanced the scales, however, by putting up a 9.900 on beam to close out a career-setting senior season.

Seniors Hailey Johnson and Megan McDonald rounded out the graduating class that had its final curtain call on Saturday night.

Although the Cyclones failed to climb the last hurdle on the way to the NCAA championships, ISU coach Jay Ronayne said he was thrilled with the effort and results his team put forth on an emotional day.

“I am really proud of what we did today,” Ronayne said. “We talk about going out there and just doing your job controlling what you can control and they absolutely did that.”

The Cyclones did not bring home a regional title nor did they earn a championship berth, but Green said there was still much to take away from a year that has capped so many productive careers.

“What I will miss most is the team and the family,” Green said. “The bonds that you make and the memories you create throughout your four years here with all the different girls, it is like a family that you can be with every day.

“I will take away all the memories and all the things I have learned, and carry them into whatever I do next in life.”