Gymnastics prepares for NCAA Regional Championships

The Iowa State gymnastics team huddles together before its meet against Northern Illinois University on March 12 at Hilton Coliseum.

Gavin Ray

The Cyclones gymnastics team will head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to compete in the NCAA Regional Championship semi-finals against some of the best gymnastics programs in the country.

No. 7 Alabama will be hosting the event as the highest-ranking team in the regional event. No. 10 Arkansas and in-state rival No. 19 Iowa will also be competing against the Cyclones.

The Cyclones come into the event ranked No. 20 on the RoadToNationals poll. 

A well-rested Cyclones team will have a lot on their plates this event, but it is not something new. The Cyclones fought a very close battle that ended in defeat when they took on No. 9 Denver and No. 1 Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship event March 20. 

While an impressive battle was fought two weeks ago, the Cyclones will be looking to clean up the mistakes and perform as close to perfect as they can. During the Big 12 Championship, the Cyclones totaled a 197.050 score, falling just shy of Denver’s 197.350 and Oklahoma’s 197.125. 

The Cyclones will begin their afternoon on the vault. Arkansas will handle the bars, while Alabama performs on beam and Iowa leads off on the floor.

The second rotation of the afternoon will show Iowa on the vault, Iowa State on the bars, Arkansas will move to the beam and Alabama is on the floor.

Alabama will then move to the vault for rotation three, while Iowa slides over to the bars, Iowa State goes to the beam and Arkansas will take on the floor.

Moving to the fourth and final rotation, Iowa State will finish the afternoon on the floor, while Iowa moves to the beam, Alabama will be on bars and Arkansas on the vault.

Iowa State will look to pick up some momentum in the first rotation on the vault. The Cyclones rank No. 11 in the nation on the vault and have put up 10 scores of 9.9 or higher. 

On the uneven bars, Iowa State intends to continue the early meet momentum. The team has scored over 49 on the event eight times in 2021.

The Cyclones will once again be going for the upset as they come into the event as the underdogs. Iowa State will seek to channel its passion and fierce mentality to move on to the Tuscaloosa Regional Finals.

The top-two teams from Session 1 and Session 2 will move on to the final round. Iowa State will be featured in Session 1 at 1 p.m. Friday.

Eastern Michigan, Auburn, Oklahoma and Missouri will be competing in Session 2 at 7 p.m. Friday. The top-two scorers will move on to the Regional Finals.

The Regional Finals will be Saturday.