Cyclone gymnastics focused in for Cy-Hawk series

Iowa State senior Andrea Maldonado performs in the floor exercise in the Cyclones’ meet against the University of Nebraska on Jan. 7.

Hailey Dohnal

On Friday, Cyclone gymnastics welcomes their in-state rival Iowa to Hilton Coliseum to close out the 2022 regular season in the annual Iowa Corn CyHawk Series.

The Cyclones have continued to bring the heat, winning their past three competitions, and will continue to progress throughout the rest of their season.

Even with it being a rivalry match, the team is continuing to focus on themselves and unleash what they are capable of. 

“There are a whole lot of possibilities out there that are up for grabs,” Iowa State gymnastics head coach Jay Ronayne said. “We’re competing against ourselves to be our very best.”

Confidence and high-quality repetitions will also be important as the Big 12 Championships are right around the corner. 

The Cyclones hit a season-high team score of 196.875 Feb. 25, and the team is close to reaching the 197 mark, which they know would be a huge accomplishment. 

To do that, however, the team’s goal is still focused on hitting all 24 routines. And the atmosphere of the Hilton crowd is a major factor in the Cyclone’s favor.

“If we have to hit 24 routines, that’s the 25th,” Ronayne said. 

On Friday, Junior Maddie Diab scored a perfect 10 against Lindenwood and cannot wait to compete her routine again back at Hilton. 

Diab became the fifth gymnast in school history to earn a perfect score across any event and only the second to score a 10 in Hilton Coliseum.

She said she puts no pressure on herself against the Hawkeyes and will continue to do what she’s been doing all season. 

Senior Andrea Maldonado also had a terrific floor routine Friday as she scored a near-perfect routine with a 9.975. 

“I was so blessed to be there. It’s been an amazing year to grow and to see a better side of myself,” Maldonado said. 

This team has a bond like no other. Maldonado mentioned how important her team is to her and how much of an impact they have on her. 

“They’ve been my rock… they’ve been here to support me on my good days and my bad days,” Maldonado said.

Maldonado also gets amazing support from her younger sister, Alondra Maldonado, who is also on the ISU gymnastics team. 

After transferring to Iowa State her junior year, Maldonado says having her sister on the sidelines was what pushed her to be that much better. 

“I’m so blessed to have her on this journey with me,” Maldonado said. 

Along with the Cy-Hawk series, the Cyclones will also celebrate their seniors. 

“We didn’t really celebrate senior night last year so having the fans gather for Cy-Hawk and senior night is going to be so much fun,” Maldonado said. 

The Cyclones will compete against the Hawkeyes at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Hilton Coliseum.