Three takeaways: Iowa State falls at San Jose State

Sophomore Molly Russ competes her beam routine during the Iowa State vs. Texas Woman’s University meet Jan. 26. The Cyclones defeated the Pioneers 195.275 to 191.050.

Austin Anderson

The Iowa State gymnastics team scored 195.725 on Friday night in California. The score was good enough to take down host San Jose State but the No. 23 Cyclones weren’t able to edge No. 14 Boise State’s 196.400.

Here are three takeaways:

Iowa State struggles on bars

Iowa State had the lead at the halfway point on Friday night. The Cyclones were leading No. 14 Boise State by .250 and it looked like they were going to extend it after a great start from sophomore M.J. Johnson. Johnson has had her share of struggles this season and didn’t compete last weekend at Hilton Coliseum.

Whatever she did worked. Her score of 9.925 was the best of her career and the best of any Cyclone on the night.

Sophomore Laura Burns followed her with a career high of her own, a score of 9.825. 

It was the two Cyclones who had just set their all-around career highs last week who struggled. Junior Meaghan Sievers followed Burns with a fall and a score of 8.600. The team would have been able to survive the score if the rest of the Cyclones hit their routines, but senior Haylee Young fell off the bars. Iowa State was forced to count Young’s score of 9.125. 

Iowa State gets new high score on beam

It didn’t take long for the Cyclones to bounce back. Freshman Ariana Orrego started the rotation off with a career high score of 9.800. Sievers followed that by tying her career high with 9.825. 

Then, sophomore Molly Russ turned heads with her career high. Her 9.900 was the highest for the Cyclones on the beam. Russ was inserted into the lineup three weeks ago when the team was looking for a spark. Her score improved each week and appears to now be firmly entrenched in the lineup as she continues to impress.

The Cyclones scored a season high on beam last weekend with a 49.125 but moved past that score handily with a 49.225, which is the highest score the team has had on an event this season. 

Cyclones score highest road meet score of season

All meets obviously matter, but in college gymnastics road meets are particularly important. 

The Regional Qualifying Score, which determines what 36 teams advance to NCAA regionals, is calculated by taking the top three away scores, then taking the next three highest scores — home or away. The final score is then calculated after dropping the highest score of the six and averaging the remaining five.

The Cyclones score of 195.725 wasn’t the best of their season but it was the best road score of the season. With only three road meets remaining, the importance grows with each.