Sievers, Cyclones bounce back on beam to take down Texas Woman’s

Junior Meaghan Sievers sticks her beam dismount during the Iowa State vs. Texas Woman’s University meet Jan. 26. The Cyclones defeated the Pioneers 195.275 to 191.050.

Austin Anderson

Junior Meaghan Sievers stood five feet to the side of the balance beam during Iowa State’s 195.275-191.050 victory over Texas Woman’s University. She was waiting for a Texas Woman’s floor routine to conclude before she competed on the balance beam — the event that has been her achilles heel the last two meets.

First, it was assistant coach Kristin White who approached Sievers. Her message was one that had been consistent throughout the season.

“[She said] she believes in me and knows that I can be great,” Sievers said.

Then sophomore Molly Russ came up to Sievers. The message of not thinking too much while on beam was summed up in just a few words.

Russ bumped Sievers fists and said “Calm and Aggressive.”

Sievers then wiped chalk on her hands and began her routine that would finish by tying her season high on the balance beam, a 9.825.

“I know that I’m good at beam,” Sievers said. “I do it in practice every single day. I just needed to reprove it to myself in a meet that I can crush a beam routine.

“It was an amazing feeling to stick that landing and look my coach right in the face and be able to make her proud, too.”

It still wasn’t the perfect event on beam for the Cyclones, but it was a strong improvement from their lowest event score of the season last weekend, a 47.950 on beam.

“They did a fantastic job today,” White said, who coaches the team on the beam. “This week has been kind of tough trying to make adjustments in the lineup and figuring out who goes where and who is going to go in.”

After last week’s struggles, Iowa State made some changes to the lineup. Russ and sophomore Cassie Diaz entered the lineup this week for the first time all season.

“Cassie did amazing,” said Iowa State coach Jay Ronayne. “Molly was just one mistake away from a 9.850. It was one little mistake that cost her big, but that’s not anything that I expect her to ever do again. [It’s nice] knowing that those two have the potential to help lead us for the next bunch of meets.”

Diaz was a strong contributor on beam last season but suffered a knee injury right before the first meet of the season in Arizona. Diaz said she considered shutting it down this season and focusing on recovery but she decided she wanted to at least contribute to one event for the Cyclones this season.

“[The season debut] felt really good,” Diaz said. “Just a couple days ago I threw my dismount because I wanted to do it for the team.

“I hit it so it felt really good.”

Iowa State didn’t have its best meet of the season. The Cyclones struggled on the uneven bars, but in terms of bouncing back on the balance beam, the team took a positive step forward.

“I think the kids that went in today did a fantastic job,” White said. “They stayed calm. We had a couple mistakes but nothing that I don’t think they can make better for the weeks to come.”