Three takeaways from Iowa State gymnastics third place finish at Masters Classic

Iowa State sophomore Molly Russ performs her floor routine in which she scored a 9.525. The Cyclones went on to win the quad meet with a score of 195.775. 

Austin Anderson

Cyclones take step back

Seven days after the Iowa State gymnastics team had its best score of the season, a 196.450, the Cyclones weren’t able to keep the momentum going in Sunday’s quad meet. Iowa State put up a 195.575 in losses to No. 16 Nebraska and No. 2 UCLA, while beating Kent State.

Last Sunday, the Cyclones achieved a season-long goal of hitting every routine without a fall, but it didn’t continue. On the first routine of the meet, the Cyclones suffered a fall when freshman Ariana Orrego fell on floor.

Iowa State was able to bounce back with 9.850’s courtesy of senior Haylee Young and sophomore Molly Russ to tally an opening rotation score of 48.900.

The Cyclones were led by junior Meaghan Sievers’ score of 9.800 on the vault with Young and freshman Sophia Steinmeyer close behind at 9.775.

Iowa State trailed UCLA and Nebraska at the midway point with a score of 97.700.

The best score of the day for Iowa State came on the uneven bars where the Cyclones put up a 49.125.

The Cyclones closed out the meet on beam with a 48.750. Russ and fellow sophomore Cassie Diaz had the Cyclone’s best scores on the event, each scoring 9.800.

Ultimately the Cyclones fell behind UCLA’s 197.500 and Nebraska’s 197.125 to take third place in the Masters Classic.

No 9.9’s

Scoring a 9.900 on any event is an obvious accomplishment, but it was one no Cyclones achieved on Sunday. The Cyclones had a few falls and a couple of uncharacteristically low scores which hurt the team score, but it also wasn’t balanced out with the high individual scores the Cyclones have put up in the past.

Last weekend, Iowa State had five performances of 9.900 or better over the two meets. The Bruins of UCLA, who proved they deserve the No. 2 overall ranking in the country, had nine different routines that resulted in 9.900’s or higher.

Coach Jay Ronayne said after practice last Wednesday that he was treating this meet like a regional competition because of the high-level talent that would be at the meet. To achieve the level of success the Cyclones aspire for, Iowa State will need the high level performances the Cyclones have shown this season on top of the continued consistency throughout the lineup.

Bars were the bright spot

The Cyclones shined brightest on the uneven bars. The event started with junior M.J. Johnson’s score of 9.825. Johnson suffered a fall in last Friday’s meet that needed X-rays but they came back clean. She didn’t compete last Sunday but made her return in solid fashion.

Sievers had Iowa State’s highest score of any event on Sunday with a 9.875 on the uneven bars. Seniors Hilary Green and Briana Ledesma joined Johnson with scores of 9.825. Ledesma’s score was a new season high.

The Cyclones did suffer a fall when Young went down but didn’t have to count it with sophomore Laura Burns rounding out the counted scores with a 9.775. All in all the score of 49.125 was good enough for the Cyclone’s second best score of the season on the event.