Stranahan helps upset Minnesota on Senior Day


Senior Elizabeth Stranahan poses during her floor performance. Stranahan competed in every event Sunday, Feb. 24, including vault, bars, beam and floor. She was awarded a score of 9.800 for her floor performance.

Maddy Arnold

Elizabeth Stranahan, the only competing senior for Iowa State this season, help upset No. 12 Minnesota on Sunday’s Senior Day for ISU gymnastics.

Iowa State (4-6, 0-2 Big 12) defeated No. 12 Minnesota (12-2, 4-1 Big Ten) 195.55 to 195.025 on Sunday, setting a season-high overall team score against a team it has already lost to this season.

“It’s a satisfying feeling for them to know that they can hang with a team that is one of the top in the country and to beat them,” said ISU coach Jay Ronayne. “You just have to put yourself in a position to be able to win.”

Stranahan, a co-captain, is one of two seniors on the team but is the only one who has competed this season. Senior Jessica Rizzi retired before the start of the season because of injuries.

Stranahan scored 38.9 during the meet. She came in second in the all-around competition and tied her career-high score of 9.725 on the uneven bars.

“I think I did some of my best routines, but we can always build and always get better,” Stranahan said. “It was just another meet. It’s great to be honored, it’s great to see the fans but the season is not really over yet so we’ve got to keep thinking ahead.”

Ronayne said Stranahan handled the pressure and attention — that comes with being the only senior — well.

“Something we talk about in the gym all the time is that when you’re competing you should be doing what you do in the gym not try to do more than what you do in the gym,” Ronayne said. “She was ordinary [Sunday] and that exactly what I like and her ordinary is great.”

Freshman Sammie Pearsall also set a career-high score with a 9.875 on the balance beam and tied her career-high on floor exercise with 9.725.

“I love doing beam and because it’s senior night we are allowed to show a little bit more personality than we usually do,” Pearsall said. “I got to add the worm to my beam routine, which is exciting and from the moment I got onto it I had a good time.”

Iowa State had some other high scores against Minnesota. Sophomore Caitlin Brown scored a season-high 9.8 on vault while Camille Santerre-Gervais, junior, won the uneven bars title with a score of 9.85.

“Obviously we’re really excited. Minnesota has beat us earlier in the year so we’re really glad to come in and get that win,” Stranahan said. “We’re seeing those scores we like and we know that we can build.”