Cyclone gymnastics honors seniors in final home meet of the season


Jacob Rice/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State senior Sophia Steinmeyer performs on the balance beam in the Cyclones’ gymnastics meet against the University of Nebraska on Jan. 7. Steinmeyer scored a 9.650 in the event.

Hailey Dohnal

AMES – The Iowa State gymnastics team wrapped up their final home meet of the season Friday night. 

The Cyclones competed against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series, and they honored their nine seniors in the process. 

Before and after the competition, emotions were shown from the team. Tears began to flow and lots of hugs were visible especially during the senior ceremony at the end of the competition. 

The team’s bond has been something that has been talked about a lot but is truly something that brings this team together. 

The amount of love and support that each gymnast receives not only from one another but from their coaches as well is unmatched.  

As for the meet itself, the Cyclones came up short to the Hawkeyes with a final score of 196.500-196.825. The score and the meet itself indicate it was a hotly-contested night in Ames.

Even with a loss, Hilton Coliseum was the perfect place for a rivalry matchup and the seniors continued to put on a show for the electrified Hilton crowd. 

This year’s seniors have made a huge impact on Cyclone gymnastics not only through the 2021-2022 season but since they were freshman. Head coach Jay Ronayne says that it is because of his seniors that Cyclone gymnastics is who they are today. 

“They’ve been building the culture that we’ve been trying to build over the past five and six years that they’ve been with us,” Ronayne said. 

All in all, it comes down to the guts and hard work that is put into practice each day. 

After a season ending Achilles injury last season, senior Sophia Steinmeyer returned to her best event, vault, and vaulted for the first time in over a year. Steinmeyer scored a 9.825 on the event. 

Steinmeyer also put up a 9.825 on the balance beam which matched her season high. Senior Andrea Maldonado scored a 9.900 on her final floor routine in Hilton Coliseum.

Ariana Orrego earned a season high on the floor exercise with a 9.850 and led the team on the uneven bars with a 9.800. 

Kelsey Boychuk scored a 9.825 on the vault and Meixi Semple scored a 9.800 on the balance beam. Additionally, Ana Palacios stuck her uneven bars routine to score a 9.750. 

Ronayne could not be prouder of what his seniors have accomplished. 

 “They will never be replaced,” Ronayne said. 

Even with the seniors leaving at the end of the season, a new era for Cyclone gymnastics is still brewing. 

Freshman Hannah Loyim and Josie Bergstrom continue to put up high scores each competition and will be ones to watch throughout the years to come. Ronayne says that each Cyclone gymnast will continue to grow and mature throughout these next few weeks as the season wraps up. 

“We have a lot more left,” Ronayne said.

The season is not over just yet for the Cyclones. They will compete in a quad meet on Saturday, March 12th. That competition is set to begin at 5 p.m.