Cyclone gymnastics secures second victory of the season


Collin Maguire/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State junior Maddie Diab celebrates after the floor exercise in the Cyclones’ gymnastics meet against the University of Nebraska on Jan. 7.

Finally being able to make their first appearance of the season in Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State gymnastics took on Eastern Michigan and UC Davis belting their second victory of the season.

The Cyclones scored a total of 194.075, UC Davis sealed the second place with a total of 193.675 and Eastern Michigan finished their debut at Hilton in third place with a total of 193.575.

The Cyclones experienced six rotations during this meet, as only two teams were able to go while a third team remained in a bye. From the start, Iowa State gymnastics faced the hardest rotation as they faced two bye’s in the middle of the competition, one before beam and another before floor.

That alone set the Cyclones in a pressured position. Their momentum was going to be taken away twice before they’d be able to conclude the competition.

Starting off on vault, the Cyclones were able to set the standard and energy for the rest of the meet. Emilie Hong led the lineup with a score of 9.850, followed by Kelsey Boychuk and Kaia Parker both scoring 9.825.

Adversity had rolled around for Eastern Michigan’s bar lineup, and that seemed to project unto the Cyclones as they also struggled to keep themselves out of trouble during this rotation.

Laura Cooke led the way in the bar rotation scoring a 9.775, and Lauren Thomas relieved some of the pressure from previous mistakes with a 9.725. Maddy Langkamp and Logan Basuel sealed the Cyclone’s lead, both landing at 9.675.

After several hurdles, the Cyclones were off to their first bye of the competition. The dynamic the team adopted during their off period was to challenge themselves to almost cool down and maintain a chill state of mind. The key when facing the balance beam is serenity and confidence.

Breaking the ice for the beam lineup, Lauren Thomas scored a 9.775 and was followed by Natalie Horowitz posting a 9.725. This rotation was a rollercoaster due to several mistakes on top of the bar rotation.

“The team has had a really hard week, and it has definitely been emotionally hard, so props to them for sticking together and focused on each other,” head coach Jay Ronayne said.

Going into their final bye before their final rotation, the Cyclones needed to once again reset their energy and shift their focus towards bringing the energy out of Hilton.

It came down close to the Cyclones needing a total of 48.500 to take the victory at the end of the meet. Going into the floor rotation, Alondra Maldonado led the team towards the victory with a career-high 9.900. Maddie Diab landed a 9.875, and Kaia Parker sealed the rotation with a 9.850.

“When it comes down to the mistakes, it was not due to pressure because the team did a really good job at supporting each other,” Ronayne said.

Finalizing their home opener, the biggest takeaway for the Cyclones is to have each other’s back.

“It’s like I told my teammates, if you don’t trust yourself, trust us, we have your back all the time,” Maldonado said.

Coming up, the Cyclones will hit their first away meet as they face West Virginia on Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. The meet will be streamed on ESPN+.