Gymnasts knock off Hawks again

Pat Glennon

Tuesday night was spinning with emotion as the ISU women’s gymnastics team celebrated a Sweet 16 of their own on senior night.

Lauren Goldberg and Jessy Smith celebrated their last home meet as the Cyclones routed the University of Iowa for the 16th straight time 196.400 to 193.950.

“It was awesome . a good way to go out,” Goldberg said.

However, Coach K.J. Kindler said she thought that it wasn’t the best meet for the Cyclones, who have come off of two record-setting meets.

“It was a stellar meet for us … we could have done better,” Kindler said.

Shelly Kringen, the Big 12 Gymnast of the Week, scored a perfect 10 on the vault.

The 10 marks only the second time in Iowa State history that a gymnast has received perfect marks. Kim Mazza, one of the Cyclones’ current assistant coaches, received the first in 1997.

Adding to the victories, Big 12 uneven bars champion Sissy Huey, who took first place in the all-around, finished almost half a point above Iowa’s Alexis Maday.

Although milestones were reached, it was Smith and Goldberg who stole the show as they bid farewell to the friendly confines of Hilton Coliseum.

Jessy Smith competed six days after breaking the big toe on her right foot at practice last Wednesday.

Huey said her emotions were drawn to her senior teammates while Goldberg and Smith were on their last events.

“I was really glad they came in and did well . I am going to miss them next year,” Huey said.

Coach Kindler also reflected on the seniors’ toughness and commitment to the team.

They have been with the team through a transition period from a time to when the team was struggling to make it to the regional competitions to a top-ten program in the national spotlight, Kindler said.

Not only was Tuesday’s meet the last for the seniors, but the first competition for Gabrielle Layne, who scored a 9.85 on the vault, helping the Cyclones set a team record scoring a 49.4 out of a perfect 50 for the vault team score.

Smith said that the meet was exciting, but she kept her concentration on the future as the Cyclones will be looking to repeat as Big 12 champions at the conference tournament March 24 in Norman, Okla.

“We are just going to go back to the gym and focus on the little things again,” Smith said.