Three Big Takeaways: Cyclone gymnastics fall to the Hawkeyes in hard-fought battle


Daniel Jacobi II

Loganne Basuel practices before the beam portion of the meet against Denver University in Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 24, 2023.

Andrea Maldonado, Sports Reporter

The Iowa State gymnastics team traveled to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the Hawkeyes in the annual CyHawk series.

The CyHawk series may be a fun rivalry, but it means more than that to many fans and athletes across the state of Iowa. 

The Cyclones were faced with the task of matching the Hawkeyes Saturday night since in the past few years the Cyclones haven’t managed to contribute a victory to the series. The hopes were high for the team, but Iowa State fell to Iowa by just over a point, 195.275-194.200.

Weather advisory

During the first rotation, the Cyclones kept a close watch as they dominated the bars with consistent 9.700s, ending with a leading 9.825 from Laura Cooke. 

While the competition was merely starting, the energy that both teams portrayed led the audience to believe that it would be a close match. Moving onto the vault, the Cyclones fell into a rocky situation, as the last two vaults were not scores that could necessarily build their momentum. However, the rotation was led by Josie Bergstrom with a 9.825. 

The key to success after a hard rotation was to outperform the Hawkeyes on floor. Within this rotation the unexpected happened on the Hawkeye side, two falls had to be counted toward their team score on beam.

Certainly, this gave the Cyclones an opportunity to maintain the lead moving into the last rotation of the night. Nonetheless, Ana Irene Palacios, Alondra Maldonado and Maddie Diab sealed the lead, as both Maldonado and Palacios scored a 9.825, while Diab finished with a 9.925.

On a further note, Maddie Diab continued the streak of 9.900s or higher, as tonight marked the sixth consecutive 9.925 of the season. 

All or nothing

Finally, as both teams approached the last rotation, it was anyone’s game. On the beam for the Cyclones, it was a matter of staying on the event.

On the floor for the Hawkeyes, the trick was to stay in bounds. Both teams had a hard competition up to that moment, so it was going to be a hard battle.

The Cyclones had some mistakes at the beginning of the beam lineup, but key players that kept the competition close were Maldonado, Bergstrom and Hannah Loyim.

In the end, Iowa got the better of Iowa State after the last rotation, winning 195.275-194.200.

Almost to the finish line

The Cyclones are facing only two more meets before the regular season comes to an end. The end goal is to be able to land team scores to improve their NQS (National Qualification Score) as they face postseason competitions.

In a conversation with Iowa State head coach Jay Ronayne, he said at this point in the season it’s more about self-improvement rather than winning meets altogether. 

Coming up next, the Cyclones take their longest trip yet, as they head to Los Angeles. Getting ready to face UCLA, the Cyclones come out to the competition floor once more at 2 p.m. on March 11.