ISU gymnastics hungry for second win against Iowa


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

The team celebrates with Celine Paulus after her round on the bars in the meet against Nebraska on Friday, Jan. 20. Paulus scored 9.825 on the bars and finished the night with an all-around score of 39.150.

Isaac Hunt

The ISU gymnastics team will travel to Iowa City, where they will face Iowa for the second time this season — this time at Carver-Hawkeye Arena — on Friday. 

Coach Jay Ronayne said this week is the same as all of the others except for one factor: beating the Hawkeyes again.

“We have split with them or they have beaten us for a few years now,” Ronayne said. “That’s unacceptable to us. Whether the Cy-Hawk Series is over or not, we can’t lose to them. Reversely, they can’t lose to us. That’s what makes it fun.”

When the Hawkeyes (2-6-1, 1-2-1 Big Ten) came to Ames on Jan. 27, they led the entire meet until the Cyclones (3-4, 0-2 Big 12) took the floor. Iowa State came back and notched its first victory of the season with its win against its in-state rival. 

Last Friday, the team had its best performance of the year, earning a score of 195.175 at the Perfect 10 meet in Oklahoma City. 

“After coming off of a really good performance, I expect them to build and keep the momentum going,” said assistant coach Katie Minasola. “We expect a lot out of these girls because they are so extremely talented.”

Minasola is in her first year at Iowa State, but said she can already feel the importance of the rivalry and what it means to the athletes, students and all of Cyclone Nation.

“I knew a lot about the rivalry,” Minasola said. “But as soon as we beat them in football and it was like ‘OK it’s on.’ Then we beat them in gymnastics at our first meet so we want to keep that going.

“I’ve never been a part of a series like this. The competition between the teams is just so fierce. We want to be the top team in the state of Iowa.”

One win against Iowa isn’t good enough for anyone. Senior Celine Paulus stressed the importance of winning a second time against the Hawkeyes.

“I think this time it means more to [the team] because we have already won the Cy-Hawk trophy,” Paulus said. “I think now it’s a personal goal of the team to beat them again. We want to get two wins against them, because we know we’re better than they are.”

Iowa State will try to reach its goals Friday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes and Cyclones will start competing at 7 p.m.