Maddie Diab’s perfect 10 helps Cyclones topple Lindenwood


Maddie Diab hypes up the crowd during her floor routine during the Cyclones’ gymnastics meet against the University of West Virginia on Jan. 28.

Christian Royston

AMES — The Iowa State gymnastics team is coming off a successful road trip where they racked up six wins to put them back into the top-25 rankings.

Now with all the momentum in their favor, the No. 21 Cyclones only had one thing on their mind as they faced off against Lindenwood at Hilton Coliseum Friday night.


Before the meet, Head Coach Jay Ronayne alluded to the possibility of free donuts for everyone in attendance.

“If a gymnast scores a 10.0, everyone in the building gets free donuts. It could happen on Friday,” Ronayne said.

With donuts on the line, one name came to mind as the Cyclone to score the perfect 10.0.

Junior Maddie Diab.

Diab is coming off a season-high floor routine of 9.95 and has come close to the elusive perfect score plenty of other times throughout the season.

Ronayne believes Diab has the capability to score a 10.0, as well as many other gymnasts on the team. On any given night, the Hilton crowd could witness perfection.

The stars would have to align for a perfect routine to come out. With the Hilton magic in the air and excitement at an all-time high, it looked like history could be made.

“The conditions were right for that 10 today. Her teammates helped set her up for it, with Andrea [Maldonado] doing a great routine right in front of her,” Ronayne said.

Maldonado’s routine was the best routine of the night before Diab took the floor. After Maldonado landed her last pass, the crowd erupted in cheers. It seemed as though a ten was in the cards for her.

The routine looked perfect, but any slight misstep can bring deductions and the routine was scored as 9.975. This would be the highest score of the season for any Cyclone on any event.

Being just 0.025 off the perfect score is tough, but it could have been the factor in Diab’s perfect routine.

“It set her up perfectly, and I am surprised Andrea didn’t score a 10.0, because it was a great routine,” Ronayne said.

With Diab placing her crown atop her head to end the routine, the music slowly faded. The Hilton crowd became electric as they realized what they just witnessed.

It would be easy to assume that Diab wanted to score the 10.0 for Maldonado’s near perfect routine. Ronayne said that this was most likely not the case.

Diab knows she can perform well and close every floor rotation on a high note for the team.

Ronayne said, “Knowing her, she doesn’t operate that way. It’s always ‘I’m just going to do my thing’ and that’s why she does what she does.”

That is how she has stayed consistent throughout the season, going out and performing how she does in practice. The gymnasts perfect their routines in practice, and at some point, those perfect routines will hit the big stage.

According to Ronayne, Diab has worked hard to build her routine up and perform at a high level every meet. With the consistency she has shown in practice and in meets, it was about time she was rewarded for her efforts.

“She does routines like that a lot and I am glad to see her rewarded,” Ronayne said.

Diab’s perfect score would be one of very few in Cyclone gymnastics history and Hilton was there to see it unfold. With the meet coming to a close, fans in attendance could leave with a sense of astonishment and their donut cravings filled.

Diab’s 10.0 wouldn’t be the only success of the night as all the gymnasts competed on a high level at each event. The Cyclones blasted past their previous season-high score by more than half a point to take down Lindenwood, 196.875-193.100. 

A third straight meet victory for the Cyclones brings their win total over the past two weeks to seven and improves their record to 8-4. The Cyclones are back in Hilton on Mar. 4, to take on the Hawkeyes in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.

The dominant performance against Lindenwood should give the Cyclones the momentum to continue demonstrating greatness. Ronayne is confident that the team can put on a show for the Hilton crowd again.

“This team is going to give it everything they’ve got. Everything.”