Ronayne: ‘Nobody likes the Hawkeyes’

Isaac Hunt

ISU gymnastics coach Jay Ronayne spoke at Monday’s news conference of reflection over the past few weeks, along with talk about the upcoming meet against Iowa. 

“Nobody likes the Hawkeyes, that’s just the way it is,” Ronayne said. “They might like them as people, but as a team no one likes them.”

The meet Friday against Iowa (1-0-1, 1-0-1 Big Ten) will take on a whole new meaning of the word “desperation.” Iowa State (0-2, 0-1 Big 12) will be preparing for an event that isn’t just another meet. 

“This is the biggest meet of the year for us,” Ronayne said. “Even if the [Cy-Hawk] Series wasn’t on the line, there’s a lot of pride that could be bruised, or it could be the best day of a young athlete’s life.”

Ronayne spoke about the standout of this season, Celine Paulus. The senior is off to the best start of her career and it isn’t going unnoticed. 

“She has been stellar,” Ronayne said. “She’s been doing this since she was 4 years old. To have the best season of your life at 22 years old, that says a lot. She’s taken control of her gymnastics.”

The struggles of this season were also a big topic. The Cyclones have counted falls in different areas with different gymnasts in the first two meets of the year.

Ronayne said the shaky landings and falls have contributed to Iowa State’s 0-2 start. The team will have to go in focused and determined to come away with a victory. 

“We need to do a lot better,” Ronayne said. “If we make mistakes at all, we’re in trouble. It was different people that made the mistakes, which makes me a little more comfortable because I know those mistakes can be fixed.”