Takeaways: Iowa State gymnastics defeats Illinois State

Assistant Coach Kristin White and Junior Meaghan Sievers hug Sophia Steinmeyer after she completed her beam routine during the Iowa State, Iowa and Missouri tri-meet. the cyclones won with a team score of 196.700 points.  

Matt Belinson

Iowa State gymnastics had its first home meet of the season Friday night against the Illinois State Redbirds. 

Coming out with a bang

Iowa State began the night on the vault, with seniors Kelly Martin and Madeline Johnson starting off the Cyclones’ rotation with back-to-back 9.7 scores. 

Hilton Coliseum was packed from the moment the first event began, even with a blizzard in full effect outside.

“It was so great that people showed up tonight, on a night where, me personally, I would have said ‘nah, you know what, I am saying home,'” said head coach Jay Ronayne.

He was right. Iowa State fans came and cheered with intense passion all night and the team took notice right away.

“We were talking about it as a team and we were all super impressed with the fans coming out tonight,” said senior Meaghan Sievers. “We owe a lot of our success to them.”

Iowa State rewarded the fans to end the vault. Sophomore Sophia Steinmeyer and two-time NCAA vault qualifier Meaghan Sievers helped Iowa State with two 9.825 scores. 

Sievers has earned two-straight 9.8 or better scores on the vault to begin her senior season. 

Iowa State finished with a 48.675 score on the vault, edging out Illinois State who earned a score of 48.450.

“Balanced” scores lead to success on the beam

The Cyclones’ third event of the evening was the balance beam. The balance beam turned out to be the lowest score for Iowa State in their first meet of the season, the Cancun Classic.

The exact opposite occurred on Friday night.

Iowa State got their best score of the night on the beam with a 48.725. Only one Cyclone scored below a 9.7 for the rotation. Freshman Grace Woolfolk and junior Molly Russ brought in scores of 9.8 and 9.775 respectively.  

Senior Sydney Converse was thrilled on how the team backed her up while she performed on the beam.

“It was so nice knowing I had a team behind my back,” Converse said. “My teammates are my sisters and I couldn’t do anything without them and it is the best feeling ever to know that.”

Ronayne agreed with his senior gymnast.

“Of course, I am overjoyed on how we performed there,” Ronayne said. “They were hitting routines and we were hitting our goals all night long.”

Struggles on Floor 

In Iowa State’s first meet of the season, the floor routine was Iowa State’s highest score but was the lowest by far on Friday.

Scores of 9.6 and 9.050 brought down high-scoring performances from Sievers and Maddy Langkamp, who brought in scores of 9.825 and 9.725.

Ronayne knew after the Cancun Classic that floor would “be a possible weakness going forward” but said the team would be focusing on it going forward. 

Overall, the Cyclones ended the floor with a 48.300 score. 

The gymnastics team will be back in Hilton on Jan. 27 vs Lindenwood.