Cyclones prepare for three ranked teams without three gymnasts

Maddy Arnold

The ISU gymnastics team will face many firsts this weekend: its first ranked opponents, first away meet and first time without three of its gymnasts.

Iowa State (2-0, 0-0 Big 12) will travel to Minneapolis to take on No. 1 Michigan, No. 12 Minnesota and No. 20 Central Michigan on Jan. 26.

“We are facing three teams that are really good,” said ISU coach Jay Ronayne. “This is going to show what we’re made of. We have a lot of adversity going on right now.”

The Cyclones have three gymnasts with concussion-like symptoms who will not compete in the four-team meet.

One of the athletes, sophomore Caitlin Brown, has not competed since her all-around title in the season debut against UW-La Crosse. Junior Henrietta Green filled the all-around spot in Iowa State’s previous meet against Kent State and won by default.

Junior Hailey Johnson and sophomore Kristen DeCosta are the other two athletes suffering from concussion symptoms. Ronayne is still unclear how he will replace them in the upcoming meet.

“We’re just trying to fill in the gaps because we know these three will probably still be out,” Ronayne said. “With two all-arounders out, that’s essentially eight routines that has to be filled in by somebody else. Who’s that going to be? We’ve been trying to figure that out for the past two weeks.”

After starting the season with two straight wins, the Cyclones had a bye week to prepare for their quad meet in Minnesota.

“We’ve just been working on things that we felt that we can improve on from the past two meets, basically landings and form, where we can get those extra few tenths [of a point] we were missing in the first two,” said junior Milan Ivory.

Although the Cyclones face their first three ranked teams this weekend, they are looking at it as an opportunity. Iowa State is scheduled to face No. 12 Minnesota again and No. 1 Michigan two more times during the regular season.

“It’s a good preview because these are going to be teams we’ll likely face in the regional and national competitions,” said graduate student Elizabeth Stranahan. “So it’s good preview of what all sides are doing and what we need be preparing for.”