Hunt: Iowa State’s early lead in Cy-Hawk Series might not be enough


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

ISU coach Jay Ronayne celebrates with Michelle Shealy after her participation in the bars Friday, Jan. 20.

Isaac Hunt

Since 2004, the Cy-Hawk Series has been a fan favorite, matching up state rivals Iowa and Iowa State.

Iowa State could be the first to win in consecutive years and, needless to say, doing this would mean a great deal.

“[We] consider the Cy-Hawk Series one of the most important competitions of the school year because neither school has ever won it two years in a row,” said Steve Malchow, senior associate athletic director of communications. “We have an opportunity to do the unprecedented.”

Malchow said it becomes more difficult this season with only three events in Ames — of the rest, two are neutral and seven are in Iowa City.

“The fall sports provided a good start,” Malchow said. “But the month of December is key with both basketball teams, as well as the swimming and wrestling teams meeting within a week and each of those competitions is in Iowa City.”

As of now, Iowa State leads 9-2. Two points are awarded to the school that wins any given matchup other than football, where the winner receives three.

Cyclone fans shouldn’t get too comfortable though — this will come down to the wire.

Wrestling in Iowa is huge, but this year might be lopsided. Currently, Iowa is ranked fourth nationally while Iowa State is 30th. Chalk this one up for the Hawkeyes: Iowa State leads 9-4.

Iowa State will win in women’s basketball. They are ranked higher, and Bill Fennelly is 11-5 against the Hawkeyes. Be cautious though: All five losses were delivered in Iowa City, the location of this year’s game. Iowa State leads 11-4.

The men’s basketball game could go either way, but Iowa gets an edge at home. Iowa’s top-25 recruiting class against an ISU team that had three starters leave helps too. Iowa State leads 11-6.

Swimming and diving is simple. Iowa has received votes to be nationally ranked and has beaten Iowa State the last two seasons 173-108 and 176-124. Iowa wins; Iowa State leads 11-8.

Neither tennis team traditionally is very good. Iowa gets the edge but only because it has won the last two meetings. Iowa State leads 11-10.

Two matchups left: gymnastics and softball.

If the last two years are any indication, Iowa will win Softball. The Hawkeyes were 2-1 against the Cyclones, outscoring the team 34-12. Iowa gets its 12th point.

But before softball, ISU gymnastics could clinch the series for the Cyclones, again. A gymnastics team has clinched the series the last two years, once for each school.

“[We] didn’t even realize we were in the position to clinch it or not [two years ago],” said ISU gymnastics coach Jay Ronayne. “Last year we knew it. It was a focus of ours: We’re going to chase it down and do it. We’re going to do that again if we’re in the same situation [this year]. It’s very motivating.”

Ronayne also said he loves that it brings attention to the sport that most fans would not get without the series and the opportunity the gymnastics team has. Iowa State clinches the series with its 13th point.

There is also an academics category. It’s awarded to each school if its student-athlete graduation rate is better than the school’s undergraduate student graduation rate.

It’s going to be close, but Iowa State will be the first team to win the series back-to-back.

Isaac Hunt is a sophomore in pre-business and pre-journalism from Wayland, Iowa.