ISU gymnastics place third, Shealy earns spot in championship


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State

Coach Jay Ronayne celebrates with Michelle Shealy after her 9.650 performance on the bars Friday, Jan. 27, at Hilton.The Cyclones defeated the Hawkeys 194.900-194.550 and will take on Denver next weekend at Colorado.

Maddy Arnold

Although the ISU gymnastics team narrowly missed out on advancing to the NCAA Championships, one Cyclone qualified for the all-around competition after her performance at NCAA Regionals on Saturday, April 6, 2013.

Iowa State (5-14, 0-2 Big 12) finished the regional meet in third place with a score of 195.400. No. 3 Alabama won the meet with a score of 197.400 and No. 9 Utah scored 196.400 and finished second. The top two teams in each regional advance to the championship meet.

The Cyclones finished just one point behind Utah and out of qualifying position. No. 15 Denver came in fourth followed by Brigham Young and No. 23 Kent State.

“I’m just incredibly proud of all of them,” said ISU coach Jay Ronayne. “My team did what we had to do: We did our job. We were just hoping that Utah or Alabama would make mistakes, open up a door for us that we could walk through.”

Junior Michelle Shealy placed fifth in the all-around competition with a score of 39.05. The top two all-around gymnasts not on an advancing team earn a spot in the championship meet.

“I was really excited to know that I was in the lineup for all-around,” Shealy said. “I had no idea where I stood score-wise or ranking-wise or anything. I just went into bars trying to do what I do in practice.”

The regional meet was only the third time Shealy competed as an all-around gymnast this season. She earned a season-high all-around score at regionals.

Shealy also tied for sixth on the balance beam with a score of 9.800 and seventh on the uneven bars with a score of 9.850 at the meet.

“She hasn’t been competing on vault all year but she was able to step up at this meet and do that for us. Ultimately, that allowed her to make it to nationals,” said junior Henrietta Green. “We’re all very excited for her and proud of her performance tonight.”