Cyclones remain optimistic for season despite falling to OU


Photo: Zhenru Zhang/Iowa State Daily

Cyclone Michelle Shealy performs during the meet against Oklahoma on Friday, Feb 11 at Hilton Coliseum. Michelle Shealy contributed 9.675 on the uneven bars.

Dylan Montz

No. 23 Iowa State posted a season-high Friday night against the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners at Hilton Coliseum, but fell 197.225-195.375.

Even though the Cyclones had a lower total score in the end, strides were made in practice over the week, and the team is hoping to build up from the 195.

Freshman Michelle Shealy performed well again for Iowa State (6-2-1, 0-2 Big 12), posting career highs in the vault, floor exercise and all-around with scores of 9.775, 9.875 and a 39.150 respectively. This was Shealy’s third-consecutive win in the all-around.

One of the many improvements for the Cyclones was in the vault competition.

“We started off great on vault. We were working on vault all week and to come out here and do a lot better and get a good score was awesome,” Shealy said. “Also it was great to be home again with our home fans and a lot of cheering going on.”

Also performing strongly for the Cyclones was senior Jody McKellar. McKellar tied her career best in the uneven bars with a 9.900 as well as performing a season best in the vault with a 9.800. The vault is an event in which McKellar has been struggling lately, and she was pleased to finally come out and post a good score.

“We came together as a vault group with our vault coach, and we decided what works for all of us individually instead of doing more group line-ups,” McKellar said. “Everyone was able to focus on that one thing they needed to focus on at the meet, and that boosted our confidence.”

ISU coach Jay Ronayne was pleased with the scores Friday night after taking a new approach to meets following some rough performances at North Carolina State.

“What I told them right after our meet last week was everyone may have had some sort of issue, but that’s behind us now,” Ronayne said. “We are starting at practice on Sunday from zero as if we had not competed all year.”

Oklahoma (9-0, 2-0 Big 12) performed its season high for a team total with a 197.225.

“Winning is not everything,” Shealy said. “It’s great to win, but it’s our score that really matters, and it was awesome to get our high score.”

The Cyclones’ next outing is against in-state rival Iowa at 7 p.m. Friday at Hilton Coliseum.