Three Big Takeaways: Diab shares Big 12 title with strong floor performance

Iowa State junior Laura Cooke performs in the floor exercise in the Cyclones’ gymnastics meet against the University of Iowa on March 4, 2022.

Hailey Dohnal

The Iowa State gymnastics team started off their postseason by traveling to Denver to compete in the Big 12 Championships Saturday night. 

Going into the competition, Head Coach Jay Ronayne talked about his excitement for seeing how his team could stack up against some of the best teams in the country. 

Ronayne also discussed how there are teams that have some of their best gymnasts returning because of the extra year of eligibility from COVID-19 making their competition even more difficult. 

No. 1 Oklahoma came out on top with a final score of 198.200. No. 15 Denver finished second with a 197.250. West Virginia finished with a 196.650 and the Cyclones final score was 196.100. 

Although the Cyclones finished last, they earned their sixth consecutive team score above a 196 and still continued to see dominant performances. 

Steady Start

The Cyclones started the Big 12 Championship competition on the uneven bars; an event that the team has had to work hard for in order to earn high scores and reduce point deductions.

The uneven bars scores stayed steady and consistent throughout the event with all scores except one scoring a 9.750 or above. 

Makayla Maxwell started off strong for the bars team with a 9.750.  Loganne Basuel and Hannah Loyim also scored a 9.750. 

Laura Cooke followed Maxwell scoring a 9.850; the highest bars score for the Cyclones. Ana Palacios had the second highest bars score for the Cyclones with a 9.775. 

Throughout the whole competition, scores remained lower than what the team has seen in the past. 

Nonetheless, the Cyclones performed to their best abilities as they cannot always control the outcome of the judge’s score. 

Consistent Scores 

The scoring continued to stay consistent for the Cyclones as they moved onto the balance beam. 

As with the uneven bars, the balance beam scores looked similar and stayed at a 9.725 or higher except for one routine. 

Josie Bergstrom and Meixi Semple led the beam team as they both scored a 9.800. 

Sophia Steinmeyer earned the second highest score with a 9.775. Loganne Basuel scored a 9.750 and Hannah Loyim with a 9.725. 

The Cyclones third event was the floor exercise; one of their stronger events where the team has seen elevated scores compared to their other events. 

Maddie Diab had the highest score for the Cyclones with a 9.950. Just last week, Diab earned the All-Big 12 on the floor exercise. 

Diab’s score was her fourth 9.950 or better on the floor exercise this season and that score earned her a share of the Big 12 title on the event. 

Andrea Maldonado scored a 9.900 on the floor, the second highest score for the team. Hannah Loyim and Kelsey Boychuk also achieved high scores. 

Loyim scored a 9.850 while Boychuk scored a 9.800. 

Strong Vault Finish

The final event for Cyclone gymnastics was the vault; another one of the stronger events where high scores have been continuous. 

After earning a perfect score of a 10.00 on vault last weekend as well as earning All-Big 12 event specialist of the week on the event, Makayla Maxwell led her team again on the event with a score of 9.950.

Additionally, Maxwell’s 10.00 was the sixth perfect score in Iowa State program history. 

Sophia Steinmeyer had the second highest score for the vault team with a 9.900. Hannah Loyim made her return back into the vault lineup with a 9.725 for the team. 

Josie Bergstrom and Emilie Hong also had strong vault performances. Bergstrom put up a 9.850 and Hong scored a 9.775. 

It has been a terrific season for the Cyclones. At almost every competition, career highs and season highs were earned both individually and for the team. 

Even with competing against the top team in the country in Oklahoma, the Cyclones stayed resilient and determined to perform their best routines. 

Results (top five scores are counted): 


Laura Cooke: 9.850

Ana Palacios: 9.775

Loganne Basuel: 9.750

Hannah Loyim: 9.750

Makayla Maxwell: 9.750

Maya Ford: 9.050


Josie Bergstrom: 9.800

Meixi Semple: 9.800

Sophia Steinmeyer: 9.775

Loganne Basuel: 9.750

Hannah Loyim: 9.725

Kelsey Boychuk: 9.150


Maddie Diab: 9.950

Andrea Maldonado: 9.900

Hannah Loyim: 9.850

Kelsey Boychuk: 9.800

Ariana Orrego: 9.650

Laura Cooke: 8.975


Makayla Maxwell: 9.950 

Sophia Steinmeyer: 9.900

Josie Bergstrom: 9.775

Emilie Hong: 9.750

Hannah Loyim: 9.725

Kelsey Boychuk: 9.850