Senior gymnasts prepare for final performances at home


Brian Achenbach/Iowa State Daily

Junior all around Caitlin Brown flies through the air during her floor exercise routine. Brown received a score of 9.800. Iowa State lost to Minnesota by a score of 194.750 to 196.525 on Feb. 21 at Hilton Coliseum.

Harrison March

March 7 at 6:30, six ISU gymnasts will bid their final farewell to Hilton Coliseum. This year’s seniors make up a large portion of the team — six gymnasts out of 15 total — but as with every class before them, their time has come.

On top of the emotion that senior night will bring, the Cyclones are tasked with taking down in-state rival Iowa. Senior Henrietta Green said the combination of senior night with the Cy-Hawk rivalry is the meet she’s been looking forward to all year.

“I think it just adds a little extra to senior night,” Green said. “It’s the meet I’ve been most excited for the whole year. It’s more motivation to go out, do my best and really finish my career strong in Hilton.”

In order to get that strong finish, senior Camille Santerre-Gervais said the team will have to keep its eyes on the prize and not let the magnitude of the meet effect the performances.

“It will be more emotional, but we have to take it as the same thing we usually do,” Santerre-Gervais said. “We’ll just have to put that emotion aside and do our jobs. It will probably be easy to just let it go, so I’ll have to stay focused and let it happen.”

The seniors on this year’s roster are certainly capable of producing results when they focus, and some of them have historic track records to prove it.

Santerre-Gervais etched her name into the ISU record books this season against West Virginia by tying the school record on bars with a score of 9.950.

Senior Michelle Shealy placed fifth on the beam at Nationals in 2013, the highest finish ever by an ISU gymnast on the apparatus. Her finish earned her First Team All-America honors.

Working alongside dependable gymnasts like these has helped junior Caitlin Brown find her way in the program.

“They mean so much to this team and for all of them to be competing is great,” Brown said. “They’ve been around for four years, they know the ropes and exactly what job they need to do. It’s kind of comforting to compete with people who are experts at this and who have been there, done it and done it well.”

Brown also said that in order to send her teammates out on a positive note, the ISU gymnastics team will try to liven things up a bit.

“For senior night we always have some extra little things we do in our routines,” Brown said. “We add silly little stuff just to go out on a high, give them an extra fun meet. We all just want them to enjoy their last meet in Hilton.”

As the Cyclones put their finishing touches on preparations for senior night, Green said the final chance to show off in front of the cardinal and gold faithful is energizing.

“I’m really excited. It’ll be our last hoorah in Hilton,” Green said. “All of the fans, our team, Hilton Magic. It’ll all be in one place, one last time.”