McKellar leads Cyclones in win over Hawks


Photo: Zhenru Zhang/Iowa State Daily

Jody McKellar celebrates after her bars routine during the meet against the University of Iowa on Friday at Hilton Coliseum. McKellar received a near-perfect 9.95, a career high for her in the event. The Cyclones defeated the University of Iowa 196.350 – 195.850

Dylan Montz

No. 23 Iowa State used a season-high team total to defeat No. 20 Iowa on Friday night in Hilton Coliseum, 196.350-195.850. 

The Cyclones (7-2-1, 1-2 Big 12) scored numerous season and career highs in the defeat of the Hawkeyes (5-5, 2-3 Big Ten).

Perhaps the strongest performance for the Cyclones came from senior Jody McKellar. McKellar gave a bars performance unlike any in recent Cyclone gymnastics seasons. She scored a 9.950 on the bars, tying for best in ISU history. The last time a 9.950 was scored on bars was by Erin Dethloff in 2004.

McKellar’s score Friday night also gave the Cyclones a season high in bars and was good enough for eighth-highest team bars score in ISU history.

“Right from the beginning I felt like it was a pretty solid routine,” McKellar said. “Going into the dismount I was thinking, ‘If I nail this dismount, then this could be one of my all-time best routines ever.’ The energy that I felt from the crowd was great.”

Junior Shea Anderson, the lone Iowa native on the Cyclone roster, also had a career night in the rivalry meet, earning a career high in the beam with a 9.750 as well as tying her career high in the floor exercise with a 9.850.

For Anderson, this particular meet has a little bit of an added meaning, she said.

“It’s huge. It means so much to win this meet, and especially being from Iowa, we want it to be a Cyclone nation, so it’s amazing,” Anderson said.

Anderson also mentioned that her performances were due to the confidence she has in herself and the rest of the team and was able to put everything together tonight, which she said “felt amazing.”

Iowa State has been struggling on the balance beam the last couple of meets but was able to correct some mistakes Friday night and earn a 49.100, a season high in that event.

ISU coach Jay Ronayne said that he has tremendous confidence in his team right now and that he anticipates “at least two girls to score 10’s this year on the bars and beam.”

Ronayne also talked about how bars have progressed from week to week.

“Our beam coach Ashley Kent has been putting them under pressure situations a lot,” Ronayne said. “It’s trying to simulate that feeling you get when you are in a meet and a little bit nervous, and they have been responding very well in the gym to everything that Ashley has put into place.”

This was the highest team total scored by an ISU team since March 23, 2007, when the Cyclones also defeated the Hawkeyes.

The Cyclones will travel to Iowa on Friday for a rematch with the Hawkeyes that could determine who wins the Cy-Hawk Series for this school year. The meet starts at 7 p.m.