Takeaways: Gymnastics team achieves highest score of the season

Iowa State gymnast Makayla Maxwell performs on the uneven bars in a meet against Denver on Jan 15 in Hilton Coliseum. (Photo courtesy of LUKE LU/Iowa State Athletics)

Gavin Ray

A week of personal records was set for the Cyclones gymnasts over the weekend as they headed off to Morgantown, West Virginia, for a matchup with the Mountaineers on Sunday.

The No. 17 Cyclones will stay right where they are in the Road to Nationals’ Poll. However, the team seems to be improving rapidly.

After defeating Denver on Jan. 31, getting their first win against a top-five opponent since 2006, the Cyclones took down another Big 12 opponent in West Virginia. The team set a new early season high, with a score of 196.125 over WVU who scored 195.175.

Personal bests all around

Iowa State sophomore Jade Vella-Wright started the impressive day off for the Cyclones by notching a 9.875 on the bars, tying her season high, leading the team for the event. Also on the bars, Makayla Maxwell tied her career high with a 9.850 score.

Madelyn Langkamp and Natalie Horowitz each earned a 9.825, as both juniors set a new season high for themselves. The team final on the uneven bars totaled 49.200, enough for the event win.

Maxwell continued her strong start, scoring a season high 9.900 on the vault. She picked up the event win as she led the team to a 49.100 score.

Maddie Diab also earned a new season high for herself on the floor exercise. She earned a strong 9.900 and led the team to an event win. Sophia Steinmeyer and Phoebe Turner each earned new season highs for the event, scoring 9.850 and 9.675 respectively. 

Meixi Sempl set a new season high on the balance beam event, picking up a 9.850. Steinmeyer also tied her season high on beam with a 9.800. Makayla Maxwell made her debut on beam over the weekend, and scored a solid 9.775 along with Addy De Jesus and Kelsey Boychuk.

Other strong showings

The uneven bars event is proving to be a strong event for the Cyclones as the lowest score of the weekend was a solid 9.825 on the event. Langkamp, Horowitz and De Jesus all achieved that score. Iowa State won the event by a score of 49.200-48.775.

The vault event, while led by Maxwell, saw many crucial performances from each and every member of the team. Everyone for Iowa State scored at least a 9.750. Boychuk, Emilie Hong, and Steinmeyer all scored 9.800 or higher.

Despite not picking up the event win, the Cyclones scored a solid 48.800 on floor and had some some very solid showings from the middle of the rotation. Steinmeyer’s 9.850 and Langkamp’s 9.775 were important to keeping their lead for the meet.

Heading into the final event of the weekend with a 147.100-146.025 lead, the Cyclones needed a strong push to keep their lead and win the meet. A 48.975 on beam was just what the team needed to finish off with a win.

Once again the Mountaineers won the event, but their total score was not high enough to top the Cyclones. A 9.800 from Steinmeyer and three 9.775’s gave the Cyclones just enough to pull off a 196.125-195.175 win for the meet.