Cyclones march to a different beat in fall-free meet


Photo: Rebekka Brown/Iowa State Daily

Megan McDonald starts off on the top bar for the uneven parallel bars event during the meet against Iowa on Friday, Jan. 27. McDonald recieved a 9.750 to help the Cyclones defeat the Hawkeys 194.900-194.550. 

Isaac Hunt

The pregame act Monday night was a drumline performed by the ISU Crew. The pounding of the drums was somewhat of a familiar sound that matches the thud of an athlete falling.

Falls plagued Iowa State this season so far, but they were not a problem Monday. The Cyclones hit all of their performances against Southeast Missouri State, winning 195.225-191.200 at Hilton Coliseum.

After three weeks on the road, their home gym may have given the gymnasts the edge they needed. Sophomore Megan McDonald spoke on what being at home does for the team. 

“It’s unreal,” McDonald said. “I was so excited to be back in Hilton. Even though it is a Monday, we didn’t think the crowd would be huge, but it was a good turnout. And we already know the equipment, so that helps.”

In Iowa City just three nights ago, Iowa State (4-5, 0-2 Big 12) had one of its worst meets, scoring a season-low 192.750 in a loss to Iowa. 

Being able to regroup before Monday’s meet was going to be a challenge. McDonald said it was a quiet ride home and didn’t know what to expect in their lone practice Sunday. 

“We had a very light practice Sunday,” McDonald said “I was suprised it was such a light practice because we didn’t have a good meet Friday. It gave our bodies some rest.”

After watching his team Friday night fail to reach its goal of not counting falls, coach Jay Ronayne was very happy to see his team come home and score a season high in the bars and overall score. 

“We were not satisfied and happy with our performance at Iowa,” Ronayne said. “They kind of were doubting themselves for a few weeks. I think they’re trying to find an identity. We’re Cyclones. Cyclones bear down, work hard and get the job done.”

Freshman Caitlin Brown said the coaches wanted the team to do a 180-degree turnaround from its meet at Iowa.

“They said to us to get the energy and get the attitude,” Brown said. “Come in here and own it. Show people how we compete.”

Ronayne said the Cyclones have more in the tank than what they are showing and expects to see that soon.

“There’s a lot [of competiveness],” Ronayne said. “We [have to] drag it out of them.”