Iowa State gymnastics a ‘team of fight’ after bouncing back in quad meet victory

Iowa State senior Hilary Green performs her bars routine during the Cyclones quad meet. Green scored a 9.925 en route to a 195.775 win over No. 19 Minnesota, Michigan State and UW-Stout. 

Austin Anderson

People aren’t supposed to be calm when situations like these arise.

After junior M.J. Johnson suffered a fall on the opening routine of the uneven bars that put her on crutches, senior Hilary Green waited.

In her three previous years, she might’ve been nervous watching her four teammates complete their routines before it was her turn to anchor the event. Last year, at times, she said she felt a desire to prove she belonged as a gymnast at Iowa State.

Now, as a senior, those days are gone.

When the direction of the meet was hanging in the balance, and the pressure of a previous fall creeping into the minds of Iowa State gymnasts, Green said she felt an “overwhelming sense of calm,” come over her.

On her uneven bars routine on Friday night, Green hit her blind change into a Jaeger and ended her double layout with a stick, scoring a 9.925. A new career-high.

“We have faith in ourselves and faith in each other,” Green said. “So when those things happen, we know how to respond to them. It’s not individualized, it’s very much that we came together and we want to get the job done as a whole. We don’t want anyone to feel like they’ve messed up because it’s life. We’re going to mess up sometimes.

“To come together and do that shows how much heart this team has.”

Green wasn’t the only example of Iowa State finishing strong on Friday night’s quad meet victory over No. 19 Minnesota, Michigan State and Wisconsin-Stout.

After a fall midway through the rotation on beam, senior Haylee Young capped off the event with a team high 9.900.

Then to finish the meet as a team, the Cyclones finished on floor with a 49.175, their best score of the meet by far.

“Last year, if we had a fall first on bars, we would’ve fallen apart,” Young said. “If we had a fall in the middle of our beam lineup, we would have fallen apart. We don’t let anything get to us anymore because we know we’re that good.”

Each week, Iowa State coach Jay Ronayne’s goal is for his team to hit all 24 of their routines in a meet. The Cyclones have had meets where they come close this season, but Friday night was not one of those meets, making the Cyclones ability to bounce back that much more important.

“Our team is a team of fight,” Green said. “That definitely was passion that came out that no matter what happens we can dig our way out and come back together. I think that pretty much sums up the night.”

Iowa State’s quad meet victory marked the fourth time the Cyclones have won over a top-20 team by taking down No. 19 Minnesota and improving to 13-2 on the season.

“I think beating Minnesota was a big thing for us,” Young said. “For us to beat them, it shows us what we know we’re capable of. We know it, but we see them creeping up in the rankings and we’re like ‘Are they that good? Are they better than us?’ But we beat them, so obviously we are that good.”