Cyclones return home after double competition weekend


Daniel Jacobi II

Alondra Maldonado gets a running start in her floor routine during the meet against Eastern Michigan and UC Davis in Hilton Coliseum on Jan. 20, 2023.

Logan Shanks, Sports Reporter

The Iowa State gymnastics team will face off against Central Michigan in this year’s Beauty and the Beast on Sunday. The event involves the gymnastics and wrestling teams competing simultaneously in Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones are coming off a double meet weekend on the road, losing to the number one-ranked Oklahoma. But then, with a quick turnaround, they beat New Hampshire and Texas Woman’s University just two days later. 

Head coach Jay Ronayne said he’s happy with the process his team is making and that they are getting better every week. Specifically against Oklahoma, Ronayne was proud of how they competed, as well as how they continued to show more confidence during the meet. 

“Two meets in a weekend is difficult, but we were able to keep it all together. And I think that’s encouraging,” Ronayne said.

With another double meet weekend coming up, Ronayne said it’s good that the team has this type of experience and will carry it for the rest of the season. He also said that it’s preparation for the NCAA Regionals, where teams could compete up to three days in a row. 

The Cyclones had some season-high scores against Oklahoma, and even after falling short in the end, Ronayne still sees it as a moral victory. One of the season highs came on bars, which the Cyclones had struggled with before taking on the Sooners. 

“Any moral victory is gonna be something you can continue to build on; getting better is exactly what we’re taking away from that,” Ronayne said. 

After a tough loss on the road, the Cyclones had minimal time for rest, with another meet right around the corner in Denton, Texas. The Cyclones grabbed the win last Sunday, but Ronayne said he noticed them hurting during warmups and pulled them together to get things right before competing. 

“We were all feeling not at 100%, we still have some gymnastics to perform, and we have to be as great as we can be today. They stepped up immediately and responded incredibly,” Ronayne said. 

Ronayne ensures his team stays focused on the meet and does not pay attention to the rankings, as Central Michigan is just a few spots below them. He’s confident that with the road ahead that this team still has the potential to qualify for NCAAs, and that they are on the path they should be on. 

Looking at Sunday’s matchup against the Chippewas, the Beauty and the Beast event is making its return for the first time since 2017. Fans at Hilton will enjoy a Cyclones gymnastics meet and the No. 3 ranked Cyclone wrestling team taking on No. 20 Illinois simultaneously. With the Super Bowl just a couple hours after Sunday’s event, Ronayne labeled it a “super duper Sunday.” 

Ronayne compared both fan bases as ones that may need to learn more about the other sport and that bringing both together will gain some fans on both sides. 

“To be able to see both things at the same time, it’s a really cool event in that regard. Exposing new fans to something that they haven’t experienced before, I know they will be hooked,” Ronayne said. 

The Beauty and the Beast event will begin at noon on Sunday and can be live-streamed on ESPN+.