Gymnasts aim for near-perfection


Hailey Johnson participates on the beam, recieving a score of 9.775 on Friday, Jan. 20, at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones fell to the Huskers 195.775-193.925 and will take on the Hawkeyes on Friday, Jan. 27, at home.

Isaac Hunt

Coach Jay Ronayne knows in order for his team to be where it wants to be, it must reach the score of 196. 

The highest the Cyclones have scored this season is 195.175 at Oklahoma last Friday in Oklahoma City. The fix, however, is simple.

“Stick more landings, hit more routines,” Ronayne said.

Hitting routines is something the coaches stress and the Cyclones jumped on the wagon. 

“We really want to hit 23 for 24,” said senior Celine Paulus. “We’ve struggled with that this year, it’s something we’re really trying to push. We have a meet Friday and Monday also, so we’re trying to hit 23 for 24 each meet. When that happens, we score well.”

Hitting 23 for 24 in gymnastics means that just one athlete will fall in one performance. Last week, the Cyclones hit 21 for 24, falling twice and placing a hand down on a landing. In order to count a fall in an event, that event must have two falls.

This year, the Cyclones (3-2, 0-2 Big 12) have been forced to count at least one fall in all of their meets except the last one. The closest they came to 23 of 24 was last week when they hit 21. 

“On beam, vault and bars we’re looking to stick 12 of those,” Ronayne said. “We feel that that is a reasonable goal and hit six for six on every event.”

Now that the team has gotten over the hump of counting falls, it is shifting its focus. 

“This week, the teams focus is on minor details,” said sophomore Hailey Johnson. “We know we can hit the routines physically, it’s all about the mental game, the confindence.”

Johnson tied her season high in beam last week with a score of 9.775. She said she knows her job is to help the team with every single performance. 

“My job is to step up right now and have my team be able to count on me in every event,” Johnson said. “Bars is my main focus right now, just the little problem areas.”

The Cyclones are going into Friday having already won against the Hawkeyes earlier this season. The rivalry will push them to stive to win, but their individual and team goals are more important in the long run.