No. 22 Cyclone gymnastics heading to Athens Regional

Then-freshman Meixi Semple sticks the landing as her team awaits to congratulate her on March 15, 2019.

Nash Vanbibber

The No.22 Iowa State Gymnastics team has qualified for a spot in the NCAA’s Athens Regional. The meet will be held April 5-6 at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia.

The Cyclones will face off against No. 8 Georgia, No. 9 Kentucky and No. 19 Missouri on Friday.

Iowa State has had a successful season finishing with a 196.080 NQS, which is their highest NQS since the 2006 season. The Cyclones have overthrown this score three times this season, the highest score this season was a 196.700, this tied the score in head coach Jay Ronayne’s career.

Ronayne said the team is getting very close to what they are capable of, which is being a top-seeded team in the Big 12 conference.

“The team has grown so much throughout the year,” Ronayne said. “All 15 athletes are very important to us, everyone has had to step up.”

Ronayne said the Cyclones need to hit all 24 routines, more dismounts and have clean landings on beam, vault and floor events in order to be successful.

“If we do all these things we can be competitive with anyone we face,” Ronayne said.

Iowa State tied its highest NQS score of 196.700 and this score is the highest in Ronayne’s career.

“We always try to shoot for a 196 score or higher because normally if you do that you win the meet,” Ronayne said. “Currently, we are only focusing on the things we can control such as hitting all the routines and sticking all the landings in the events.”

Meaghan Sievers had a great meet at the Big 12s, earning high scores in uneven bars and balance beam at the Big 12 Championships.

“Sievers brings a great vibe and intensity to every practice and meet, you can’t escape her enthusiasm,” Ronayne said.

The preparations for the NCAA Athens Regional the Cyclones are taking include working on detail work, such as landings all events.

“We are looking at lower volume and higher quality this week,” Ronayne said.

The goals for Ronayne and the Cyclones have never been higher. The team is looking to obtain the National Championship at the end of the season. The Cyclones only have to beat two teams out of the four in their session to continue onto Nationals.

“If we don’t do our job it is on us, but if we do our job and we’re beaten we did what we set out to do and it was a successful season,” Ronayne said.

According to senior Meaghan Sievers, the team does not want to end the season next weekend.

“I do not see next weekend as the end of the season for us,” Sievers said.

In the 2018 season, Sievers qualified for the NCAA Gymnastics Championships on the vault event for the second time in her career. Sievers also won the Minneapolis Regional and had a career-best 9.925 on vault. The experience Sievers has gained has helped her improve as a gymnast and as a teammate.

“The whole system is different, all our routines stay the same,” Sievers said. “I know what it takes to get to the end of the season and I can control my thoughts and emotions, in practice you don’t get the same emotions as a meet.”

According to Sievers, she is going to miss everything about gymnastics and she is thankful for everyone she has met throughout the sport.

“Having an outlet besides school is great because it has opened my eyes in how I carry myself throughout life. I am a very oriented person which is great for gymnastics because there is so much going on,” Sievers said.

Sievers said she has many goals towards the end of the 2019 season and she’s looking forward to what the team can do. Sievers has felt great all week and is preparing her body for the next three weeks.

“Our peak as a team is still coming and we are eager to show the doubters,” Sievers said.

Sievers started gymnastics at a very young age and it has influenced her life ever since. Sievers said she could write a book about gymnastics.

“I don’t have a memory without gymnastics in my life,” Sievers said.

Where to find the results:

All results of the gymnastics meet will be posted on the Iowa State twitter page and released on the Iowa State Athletics page.

Twitter- @CycloneGYM

Iowa State Athletics-