Cyclone gymnastic team places 2nd in Burnsley Invitational


Photo: Kayla Greiner/Iowa State Daily

Celine Paulus executes a stuck landing after her performance on the uneven bars during the meet Friday, Jan. 27, at Hilton Coliseum. Paulus received a 9.850 to help the Cyclones defeat the Hawkeyes 194.900-194.550. 

Isaac Hunt

Iowa State scored well enough to beat Alaska in its first matchup at the Burnsley Invitational on Saturday, but the event was won by the home team Denver. 

No. 15 Denver (3-3-1) scored 195.650 in order to win the three-team meet. Denver scored higher than its yearly average, 194.738, in a breast cancer awareness meet at Hamilton Gymnasium.

The Cyclones sported pink ribbons in their hair while scoring 194.375 in their first away meet in four weeks. Alaska finished third with a score of 188.050. 

Coach Jay Ronayne said he does not think the road crowd had much effect on the team. 

“They look at it like everyone’s here to see [them],” Ronayne said. “I think they feel like ‘this is all for me.'”

Celine Paulus scored a career-high 39.250 in winning the all-around after her last event in vault, where she scored a 9.950.

“I definitely think that the work in practice has been helping a lot,” Paulus said. “It’s really hard to explain struggling with something. It just clicked today.”

Paulus is now ranked fourth in ISU history with a vault performance that is her personal best. 

“Celine is having a excellent year,” said senior Michelle Browning. “She’s always had the talent to be great.”

Iowa State (2-3, 0-1 Big 12) still has not completed a meet without counting a fall in at least one event. Falls from Hailey Johnson and Michelle Shealy in bars led to the lowest score in that event, 48.050, since the Cyclones’ opener against Missouri. 

Ronayne said he cannot predict when they will have a meet where they don’t count at least one fall, but he hopes it is their upcoming meet at Oklahoma. 

The sixth-year coach expected more than he got out of his team. 

“I expected to start on bars and get a clean routine and not count falls,” Ronayne said. “It was a difficult hole at the beginning of the meet to fill in.”

Iowa State travels to Oklahoma to face the Sooners and Southeast Missouri State at 7 p.m Friday.