Cy-Hawk series can be clinched by gymnasts

Isaac Hunt

The heated rivalry between Iowa and Iowa State will open another chapter Friday when the schools’ gymnastic teams suit up to fight for a win.

An ISU victory would clinch the 2011-12 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series for Iowa State with the series at 13-6 in its favor. With only eight points remaining and two up for grabs Friday, the Cyclones (0-2, 0-2 Big 12) can help their school win the series while also earning their first victory of the season.

The all-time gymnastic series is led by Iowa State 50-27, but Iowa (2-3-1, 1-0-1 Big Ten) has proven to be tough during the last three years. They have won four out of six meetings.

“It’s a big meet. I grew up knowing a lot about the rivalry,” said senior Shea Anderson. “It means a lot more to me competing in the meet because it’s a big deal in Iowa.”

Anderson is the only Iowa native on the roster for the Cyclones, but she doesn’t need to remind her teammates what this rivalry means.

“I hate losing to [Iowa],” said senior Celine Paulus. “It is the worst feeling in the world.”

Paulus is a having a great year, leading her team in the all-around last meet with a career-high score of 39.150. Her struggle to score high in the vault competition has been her focus for the year.

When asked if she could win the all-around, Paulus answered with a confident yes.

“I feel like I have started to get more consistent in all the events,” Paulus said. “Vault is my biggest thing right now. I’ve been working on that in the gym, so once I get that vault score up I can maybe score in the higher 39s.”

Iowa State has counted falls in different events in its first two meets. Coach Jay Ronayne said they will find out Friday how the girls will come back after tough mistakes. 

“Each one of them is going to respond differently,” Ronayne said. 

Ronayne’s approach to the competition is different than most sports. 

“The best approach for us is to take the other team out of the competition,” Ronayne said. “We try our very best to avoid even acknowledging they’re in the building.”

The girls will try their hardest to focus on themselves, but the win will be in the back of their minds during their events at 7 p.m. on Friday at Hilton Coliseum. 

“In our sport, winning isn’t a huge deal, but beating the Hawkeyes is always a good feeling,” Anderson said. “We want to win the Cy-Hawk series for our school.”