Iowa State has season highs, lows at UCLA


Photo:Zhenru Zhang/Iowa State Daily

Michelle Shealy performs on the uneven bars during the match against Minnesota on Friday, March 4 at Hilton Coliseum. Michelle Shealy contributed 9.675. The Cyclones tied with Minnesota 195.325.

Maddy Arnold

The four-team meet at UCLA on March 10, 2013 was an inconsistent one for the ISU gymnastics team. The Cyclones had some career-high scores as well as falls on multiple events.

Iowa State (4-10, 0-2 Big 12) finished in fourth place at the quad meet in Los Angeles with a score of 194.65. In first was No. 3 Michigan, which scored 197.55; No. 6 UCLA came in second with a score of 197.075 and California finished in third with a score of 194.925.

“It wasn’t our best performance, but we handled what was thrown at us,” said sophomore Caitlin Brown. “We had to travel right before the meet and we were all dead tired and we pulled out two really, really good events at the end, so we finished off really strong.”

Iowa State was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles on March 9, but its flight was canceled because of a snowstorm. The Cyclones did not arrive at UCLA until March 10, the day of the meet.

ISU gymnastics coach Jay Ronayne said that traveling on the day of the competition affected his team’s performance.

“We had to fly in the day of competition on roughly four [or] five hours of sleep — it was not optimal competition conditions,” Ronayne said. “That stuff happens and you’ve got to be ready for it. You’ve got to prepare yourself mentally for it.”

Iowa State’s first two events were its lowest-scoring ones. The Cyclones suffered multiple falls on both vault and floor exercises, the latter of which is usually their highest-scoring event.

The Cyclones scored 48.45 on floor and 48.175 on vault. In its last two rotations, Iowa State improved to have some of its highest scores this season.

“We started off a little rough on floor and vault,” said junior Michelle Shealy. “The mistakes that we made at UCLA aren’t normal. We had some irregular mistakes. I don’t think that that is going to put us down, knowing that those don’t happen normally.”

On its third rotation, Iowa State scored 49.175 on the uneven bars, its highest event score this season. During the second half of the meet, three gymnasts scored a career high on either bars or the balance beam.

Shealy scored 9.9 on bars, the highest event score of any Cyclone this season. She also won the beam title with a score of 9.875.

“It feels good,” Shealy said. “I had no idea that I had won at UCLA. I was so blessed and honored to know that, because [Michigan and UCLA] are some top schools.”