Iowa State gymnastics pushes for strong finish to season against UCLA


Daniel Jacobi II

Laura Cooke begins her bars routine during the meet against Denver University in Hilton Coliseum on Feb. 24, 2023.

Logan Shanks, Sports Reporter

The Cyclones gymnastics team will try to snap their losing streak as they cap off their regular season with a road matchup against UCLA. 

The Cyclones lost their last two meets, one at home against Denver and the other on the road against Iowa. The end of the season doesn’t get much easier for them as they face off against No. 5 UCLA on Saturday. 

Looking back at their matchup against Iowa last weekend, the Cyclones struggled on bars and beam all season but were able to find some success in a few performances. Senior Laura Cooke scored a 9.825 on bars, and sophomore Josie Bergstrom scored the same on beam. Iowa State head coach Jay Ronayne talked about the struggles they’ve had in those events and how it felt to see his team find some solid performances. 

“They’ve been working really hard in the gym,” Ronayne said. “To have a little more confidence in the bar squad is gratifying because, over the last two months, it’s been a journey.”

Looking at this UCLA team, the Bruins won their last two meets and are coming off a season-high score of 198.175 against Stanford. They also scored 197 or higher consistently over the season, while Iowa State has scored around 195 all season. 

Ronayne’s message to his team has stayed the same throughout the whole season: “to chase their very best.”

“We’re not competing against an opponent; we’re competing against ourselves,” Ronayne said. “That’s ultimately what athletics is about. To prove to yourself that you can be a little bit better than you were before and reach whatever potential there is.”

When asked if he could summarize this season in three words, Ronayne described it as, “challenging, fun and difficult,” but he is happy with how his team stuck together down the stretch.

The regular season finale against the Bruins will start at 2 p.m. Saturday.