Now-ranked Cyclones ready to prove they belong

Iowa State defeated Southeast Missouri and Centenary on Friday during their tri-meet at Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones posted a 195.775. 

Austin Anderson

The Iowa State women’s gymnastics team has spent a lot of time focusing solely on itself this season. This weekend isn’t one of those times.

The Cyclones hit the road to Columbia, Missouri, for a quad meet on Friday night against Missouri, George Washington and Lindenwood.

Missouri is the No. 13 team in the country. George Washington, No. 14.

After the Cyclones entered the top-25 in the Road to Nationals poll, Iowa State has an opportunity to see where it stacks up against a few of the other best teams in the country.

“The teams of teams that we are going to see at the NCAA regional and NCAA national, are the teams we are seeing this weekend,” coach Jay Ronayne said. “It is a measuring stick.”

Missouri is coming off a loss that saw the Tigers put up a 195.425, but they hold a high score of 196.225. George Washington is coming off its 11th straight win to start the season and posted a season high 196.400 last weekend.

For perspective, the Cyclones have the lowest high score of the three, a 196.125, but have put up the numbers this season to compete against the two top-15 teams.

”If we practice doing what we could do at the end of season, right now, with teams that are quality teams, it’s going to show us that’s where we belong, that we belong as the No. 13 team or whatever it is,” Ronayne said.

Iowa State entered the top-25 this week for the first time since January of 2015.

“We did?” Ronayne said sarcastically when it was brought to his attention.

“We haven’t been with those top matchups yet,” junior Hilary Green said. “It will be really good to see where we’re at and how we compare. Even though we’ve cracked the top-25, we really have been focusing on how we are like the underdogs and going in with that kind of attitude.”

After roughly half the season has already passed in the gymnastics regular season, it is hard for the Cyclones to sneak up on teams like they did when they started the season No. 40 in the preseason poll.

Sophomore Sydney Converse said she is ready to move past the underdog label and force the rest of the country to take notice of the now ranked Cyclones.

“[This weekend] is a chance for us to prove to everyone else that we’re not the underdogs,” Converse said. “Getting a good away score will prove that we’re just as good as everyone else.”