Cyclone gymnastics looks to improve performance in home opener


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Kaia Parker performs in the floor exercise in the Cyclones’ gymnastics meet against the University of Nebraska on Jan. 7.

The Iowa State gymnastics team will continue their season on Friday night in their home opener against Eastern Michigan and UC Davis, with much to prove after their first meet.

The Cyclones have not won their home opener in the past two seasons and will attempt to break that streak after winning their season opener last Saturday against Northern Illinois.

Head coach Jay Ronayne was happy to start the season strong but saw many things that needed improvement as the season continues.

“We were not our best; we showed glimpses of it and a whole lot of promise for where we are heading,” Ronayne said. “The win is great, and everyone is happy about that, but that’s not even close to our primary focus.”

The Cyclones struggled on bars Saturday, scoring a 47.725, with Loganne Basuel scoring 9.225 and Lauren Thomas scoring 9.075. That was Thomas’s first performance as a Cyclone, and she would have a chance to improve her day on beam, which she did, scoring a 9.850.

Ronayne commended her for stepping up to the challenge, especially at such a crucial moment in the meet; she was awarded the “save of the meet” award in practice Monday.

“The first performer on beam, Kelsey Boychuk, made a mistake, and Lauren had to follow her up,” Ronayne said. “She stepped up and went incredibly aggressive for the whole routine and did a great job. I couldn’t have been more proud of her.”

A couple of other gymnasts made mistakes on bars, and Ronayne reminded them that their mistakes were because of their aggressiveness, which he asks of them every day.

“If they were being conservative and made mistakes, I would be upset because that’s not what we do,” Ronayne said. “They did exactly what I asked them to do.”

Heading into Friday, Ronayne is making sure his team keeps the focus they have had going into the season, noting that each person that performed on Saturday has taken it upon themselves to fix their mistakes.

He expressed what it was like to see his squad point out their flaws and want to improve on them, saying, “ It’s pretty gratifying. It’s like we have a whole bunch of coaches in the gym right now the way they analyze their videos.”

The competition will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Hilton Coliseum.