Gymnasts soar to new school record

Pat Glennon

With two meets in two days, the 11th ranked ISU women’s gymnastics team received two of their highest team scores in school history against Missouri and Nebraska.

In addition, Shelly Kringen received Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honors after winning the all-around at both meets.

The Cyclones scored a 197.300 in a win against Missouri last Sunday, .025 above the previous school record set a year ago. ISU gymnastics coach K.J. Kindler was ecstatic after her team’s performance.

“It was so inspirational, the flow was there,” Kindler said.

Missouri coach Rob Drass was not disappointed in his young team. All, except one Tiger gymnast, are freshmen and sophomores.

“We did a decent job up until the beam, but we just wanted to go out and get decent scores and try to qualify for regionals and do well in the Big 12 Tournament,” Drass said.

Junior Sissy Huey continued her reign as the Big 12 uneven bars champion with an almost perfect 9.95, her career best. However, Huey’s success did not stop against Missouri as she scored another career high 9.975 and received a 10 from one of the judges.

Although the Cyclones lost to Nebraska Monday 197 to 197.575, they are still proud of their performance. The Cyclones’ score was good enough for third in school history.

Senior co-captain Lauren Goldberg said much of their strength was drawn from their performance the previous day.

“We felt good after Missouri. We were excited, and I think it helped us,” Goldberg said.

Kringen scored a 9.975 on the floor exercise, setting a personal best while also receiving a 10 from one of the judges. Her first place performances in the all-around competition in both meets merited her second Big 12 Gymnast of the Week honor.

“I think I’ve come a long way as an all-around gymnast,” Kringen said, “but I just wanted to be solid on every event.”

Kringen and the Cyclones success was the result of ample preparation and meticulous concentration on mistakes that cause small point deductions.

“The routines are down, and we are trying to eliminate the small deductions like landings and form deductions,” Kringen said.

Senior co-captain Jessy Smith, who tied for second in the all-around against Nebraska, said that such emphasis worked and the Cyclones were proud of their performance.

“We did what we went to do and we are all happy with what we did,” Smith said.

Coach Kindler’s goals for the meets were to exceed 197 points and for all gymnasts to successfully land their routines. These goals were met and has the team wondering what goals to set for the future.

“When your team is busting school records, it’s hard to lay an expectation,” Kindler said.