Gymnastics falls to Central Michigan at Beauty and the Beast


Daniel Jacobi II

Alondra Maldonado strikes a pose in her floor routine during the match against Central Michigan in Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 12, 2023.

Logan Shanks, Sports Reporter

The Iowa State gymnastics team fell short against Central Michigan with a final score of 195.600 to 194.800 in this year’s Beauty and the Beast event. 

The stage was set for an exciting afternoon of Iowa State athletics, as the Cyclones wrestling team would be competing against Illinois. Throughout both meets, fans were screaming for both sports; Head Coach Jay Ronayne described the crowd as “amazing.” 

“When I saw how many people were in here with a half hour still left before things started, I got pretty excited,” Ronayne said. 

The Cyclones started on vault in the first rotation. Ana Irene Palacios was up first and fired up the crowd with a 9.750 performance. Laura Cooke would follow with her first vault performance as a Cyclone, scoring a 9.775. 

“The coaches asked me to vault, and I was nervous, but if they needed me to do it I told them I could do it. That goes for the rest of the season too,” Cooke said. 

The Cyclones would get back-to-back 9.850 performances from Kaia Parker and Josie Bergstrom, which led the way for the Cyclones. Emillie Hong capped off the first rotation for the Cyclones with a 9.800. Although it was a solid first rotation for Iowa State as they finished with a score of 49.050, they would be trailing Central Michigan by .075. 

Bars have been a roller coaster for the Cyclones, but recently they have found success posting a season-high at Oklahoma. Maddy Langkamp started things off shaky, scoring an 8.900, which meant the Cyclones would be fighting from behind early on. 

Hannah Loyim turned things around with a 9.600, and Lauren Thomas followed with a 9.475 of her own. A 9.800 from Laura Cooke would help the Cyclones get back into the swing of things, as well as Natalie Horowitz with a 9.725. Outside of Cooke and Horowitz, the Cyclones seemed to struggle with their landings and would now trail Central Michigan by 1.100 heading into the second half of the meet.

Needing to turn their day around quickly, the Cyclone’s first two performers started things off strong on beam. Thomas with a 9.800, and then Kelsey Boychuk with a 9.700, got things started, both performances lighting up the faces of their coaches and teammates. Bergstrom, who had a solid performance on vault, couldn’t keep the momentum going and followed up with a 9.525 performance.

The struggles on beam continued, with Horowitz scoring a 9.675 and Loganne Basuel with a 9.175. The Cyclones last performer, Hannah Loyim, wrapped things up with a 9.725 improving her day after a 9.600 on bars. 

Heading into the last rotation of the meet, Iowa State now trailed Central Michigan by 1.950.

Needing some energy to start floor, Boychuck would continue her day of electric performances with a 9.775. Cooke would follow that up with a 9.850. Both she and Boychuk competed three times today, with consistent scores all around. Parker matched her 9.850 on vault earlier in the meet as the Cyclone’s third performer on floor. 

Alondra Maldonado would perform for the first time since Jan. 20, where she scored a 9.900 on floor. She wasn’t able to continue her success on floor, with her performance scoring 9.650. She was aware that today was not her best and coming back after being out for a few weeks with an illness was difficult. 

“The motivation is hard to keep up cause you’re just at home doing nothing. But, I think that being around my teammates and seeing how hard they’ve worked for this sparked my motivation again,” Maldonado said. 

The Cyclones would wrap up the floor performances with Hannah Loyim scoring a respectable 9.750, and Maddie Diab who earned the best score of the whole meet, with a 9.950. The Cyclones finished floor with a team score of 49.175.

After the awards ceremony, Ronayne addressed his team after what he described as a “bookends meet,” as they started and finished well but struggled in the middle with bars and beam. 

“I told them it’s all about chasing your own personal goals, being prepared and taking care of your business. When they do that, it will be awesome,” Ronayne said. 

The Cyclones will travel to St. Charles, Missouri, for their next meet on Friday against Lindenwood.