Takeaways: Iowa State comes out on top despite rocky start

Then freshman Ana Palacios competes in the bar event during the gymnastics meet against the Oklahoma Sooners on March 11, 2019 in Hilton Coliseum. 

Jordan Swanson

Iowa State defeated No. 25 ranked Michigan State with a final score of 196.225 to 194.175. This is the second time this season that the Cyclones have competed at Hilton and they left with a win to improve to 8-6 overall.

Iowa State bounces back after early struggles

Iowa State struggled to get going early on in the night as it had an athlete slip twice on the vault table in warmups. This would cause the Cyclones to go out and score lower on the vault than it normally does, putting up a 48.725.

Despite the low vault score to begin the meet, Iowa State rallied back and performed well on both Bars (49.250) and Floor (49.425).

“Bars is really what got us back on track,” Head Coach Jay Ronayne said. “It was just about as good as I could have expected.” 

The Cyclones had excellent performances on the bars from both Cassandra Diaz, who tied her career best, and Natalia Ros Vaquer. Diaz and Ros Vaquer would go on to tie for the event title, both putting up a 9.875. Iowa State would also receive a 9.850 from Natalie Horowitz in her first time competing in 2020.

Iowa State glad to be back at home

Before Fridays meet, Iowa State had been on the road for six weeks. It took a toll on both the coaching staff and the athletes. However, it was welcomed back by fans who were happy to have the Cyclones back in Hilton.

“I was observing other arenas and their atmosphere’s and then to come back here with all these people, I was in shock,” junior Andrea Maldonado said. “I think Hilton Magic is definitely real, and and it is very powerful.”

This would be Maldonado’s second time competing in Hilton as she is a newcomer to the team from Puerto Rico. She would go on to tie her career best on the floor with a 9.950 and finish with a 9.500 on the beam as well.

Cyclones battle injuries and illnesses

Iowa State came into the meet a little banged up. Sophomore Ana Palacios injured her heel in practice and the coaching staff was unsure if she would even be able to compete. Junior Natalia Ros Vaquer has also been battling the flu and didn’t practice at all for a week.

“At the beginning of this week I was really weak, so I feel like with all that in mind I did really good,” Ros Vaquer said.

Both gymnasts would end up finishing strong despite adversity coming into the night. Palacios would go on to have her career best on the floor earning a 9.875 and a 9.700 on the beam. Ros Vaquer would tie for the event title on bars, ending the night with a 9.875.

Looking forward

Iowa State is now preparing to face off against instate rival Iowa which will take place at 6:30 p.m. March 6 in Hilton Coliseum.