Gymnasts take on Gophers again

John Kauffman

After last week’s dominating victory over Minnesota, Sunday’s rematch against the Golden Gophers may not seem like a big deal, but with upcoming away meets against No. 2 Georgia and No. 7 Nebraska, members of the No. 6 ISU gymnastics team said they won’t be holding anything back this weekend.

“It’s just another meet,” sophomore all-arounder Erin Dethloff said. “Just because they aren’t ranked as high as some of our other competitors, we still need to focus on what we need to do ourselves [to hit our best scores and win].”

Junior Susan Stock said the meet will give the team more preparation for Georgia.

“Georgia is a huge school and has huge crowds,” Stock said. “We can get mentally prepared for next week and keep doing what we’ve been doing.”

Dethloff said eliminating the small mistakes will be essential to winning upcoming meets. In the end, it’s the little tenths of a point lost to bobbled steps that keep the Cyclones from reaching their top scores.

“When we go to Georgia, even against Minnesota, if they hit, they are going to come out with a good score also,” Dethloff said.

Last week the Cyclones posted their highest score of the season, a 196.975. It was .025 short of a season-long team goal.

“We’re still going to be pushing for 197,” Stock said. “We couldn’t have gotten any closer last weekend. This week we’re still focusing on landings on bars and vault.”

While the Cyclones will be working the home crowd for motivation to break the 197 mark, Dethloff said she will also be working toward breaking her own personal all-around record of 39.6, which she posted last week for the second time in her career.

Last week, Dethloff captured first place in all events, with the exception of vault, in which she placed second. The performance earned Dethloff Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honors.

Head coach K.J. Kindler said the Cyclones are excited to return home to Hilton Coliseum and are hoping to show the community what the team has been accomplishing on the road.

The Cyclones are hoping to perform in front of a large Hilton crowd, which will be filled with ISU gymnastics alumni, Dethloff said. The alumni weekend will welcome back Minnesota co-head coaches Jim and Meg Stephenson, who both competed for the Cyclones during their collegiate careers.

Jim was a member of Iowa State’s 1971 and 1973 NCAA national championship teams, and Meg was the women’s team captain from 1980-1981.

The Cyclones will face the Golden Gophers at 2 p.m. Sunday in Hilton Coliseum.