Three Takeaways: Iowa State gymnastics meet at Oklahoma

Iowa State senior Kelsey Paz competes on the uneven bars during the first home meet of the season against Arizona Jan. 12 in Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones defeated the Wildcats 195.45 to 194.975.

Austin Anderson

Iowa State gymnastics suffered its first loss of the season on the road against Oklahoma 197.525-194.975, and defeated Texas Woman’s 194.975-191.425. Here are three takeaways.

Iowa State struggles on beam

The balance beam event on Sunday looked eerily similar to last weekend’s event. Freshman Sophia Steinmeyer started the event with a respectable 9.700. Freshman Ariana Orrego followed that up with a 9.650. Then M.J. Johnson, who struggled with the connections on her beam routine last weekend, fell and scored a 9.200. 

Meaghan Sievers fell in the fifth spot in the lineup and scored a 9.050, leading to the Cyclones lowest event score of the season, a 47.950.

Iowa State bounced back in the other events to lessen the damage of the balance beam struggles. On the next event, the floor exercise, the Cyclones finished with a 48.975, led by 9.825’s from Orrego and senior Briana Ledesma. 

On the last rotation of the meet, the Cyclones saved their best score for last with a 49.075 on the vault, led by 9.850’s by Sievers and senior Haylee Young. 

Ultimately, it wasn’t enough for the Cyclones to prevent them from scoring their lowest score of the three meets they’ve competed in this season.

Oklahoma is good

In other news, water is still wet.

It’s not a surprise the two-time defending national champions won this meet handily. The Sooners won every team event and individual title. Oklahoma gymnasts recorded scores of 9.925 on the vault, balance beam and floor exercise. 

Sophomore Maggie Nichols scored a 9.950 on the uneven bars and won the all-around title with a 39.625. 

Before the meet, Iowa State coach Jay Ronayne said the Cyclones would have a good chance to win if Oklahoma “fell 10 times.” That, of course, wasn’t the case and the Sooners handled business easily. 

The Cyclones weren’t as concerned with beating Oklahoma as much as they were in improving their own standings. 

Captain Kelsey Paz said before the meet she thought going to the atmosphere of the defending national champions would improve the Cyclones score because they would rise to the occasion. It wasn’t a huge score drop off from previous weeks, but the Cyclones still have a lot of room for improvement as this young season continues.

Texas Woman’s up next

Iowa State defeated Texas Woman’s University 194.975-191.425 on Sunday and there won’t be a long wait before the two teams meet again. 

Texas Woman’s came into this weeks Road to Nationals poll at No. 40 with a 193.525 average. On Sunday the team scored well below that average. 

The two teams will square off on Friday, Jan. 26 at Hilton Coliseum at 6:30 p.m.