Gymnasts prepare for Iowa

Mark Pawlak

Recent history will be on the side of the ISU gymnastics team as they travel to Iowa City to face Iowa Saturday.

The Cyclones have won 16 consecutive matchups against the rival Hawkeyes. Yet, ISU head coach K.J. Kindler knows past history will mean nothing when the meet gets under way.

“We have won 16 consecutive times, but they have a new coach [Mike Lorenzen], it’s his third year. He’s done a good job with the program,” Kindler said. “He’s done a much better job recruiting, so they get better and better every year. Every year, it’s a new and different challenge.”

Last year in Iowa City, the Cyclones held off the Hawkeyes 196.325-195.925 in a close meet. Iowa’s score set a school record at that time.

Kindler expects No. 22 Iowa to be geared up for her ninth-ranked squad because of Iowa State’s recent dominance in the series.

“There’s more pressure on them to break it. I think that they really gear up for this meet. It’s something that they want very badly,” Kindler said.

“I think our team has the upperhand because we have had the success in the past against Iowa. They’re always going in with full confidence into that meet.”

While the Cyclones are a senior-laden team, the Hawkeyes are led by underclassmen.

In Iowa’s victory over then tenth-ranked Michigan State, freshman Annie Rue won the all-around and sophomore Alexis Maday captured first on the uneven bars, vault and balance beam.

“We have some extremely talented leaders on the team,” Kindler said. “A third of our team is seniors. In the case of Iowa, they have a lot of freshmen and sophomores that make up their team. Experience wise, we definitely come out ahead and that’s why we have started so well this season.”

Seniors Shelly Kringen and Sissy Huey are two of the team’s leaders and are nationally ranked. Kringen ranks fifth on the vault and eleventh in the all-around. Huey stands No. 16 in the floor exercise and No. 24 in the all-around.

Iowa State scored an 195.7 in their last action, a defeat against Nebraska. Kindler is looking for an improved team score against Iowa.

“Our goal is 195.9,” Kindler said. “I believe if we pull off an 195.9, we’ll walk out with a victory.”