Shealy lone Cyclone headed for National Championships

Dylan Montz

No. 21 Iowa State has one gymnast moving on to the National Championships from the NCAA Regionals on Saturday, and it’s true freshman Michelle Shealy.

Shealy placed fifth overall in the all-around competition with 39.050 and the Cyclones (8-12, 1-3 Big 12) took home sixth place at the Regional competition with 194.800.

Michigan took first place in the competition with 197.075 with Kent State claiming second with 195.450. Michigan and Kent State were the two teams to advance to Nationals.

ISU coach Jay Ronayne spoke highly of the Cyclones after the competition in which they faced a little adversity via mistakes in a routine.

“They showed tremendous character,” Ronayne said. “They get their work in and put in solid gymnastics. The floor and vault routines were some of the best we have done all year, and I’m just so impressed with how the team collected themselves after a mistake.”

Shealy will begin preparing for the National Championships this week. She is scheduled to compete April 14 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, with a chance to qualify for the finals, which would be held April 16.

“It’s great that we have a Cyclone going to the National Championships,” Ronayne said. “Our goal is to always get Iowa State on the national stage, and I am just so proud of her.”

Shealy’s fifth-place finish wouldn’t have typically been enough to advance, but because three competitors that placed higher than her were on teams that qualified, Shealy moved up and will compete at Nationals.

The last ISU freshman to qualify in the all-around was Erin Dethloff in 2003.

Junior Michelle Browning, Iowa State’s only other all-around competitor, finished with a 38.425 after qualifying for Nationals last season.