Iowa State gymnastics can move into top-25 with strong showing this weekend

Hilary Green follows up Middelkoop with a high score of 9.850. She helped the Cyclones get the over all score to 49.200 on floor.

Austin Anderson

The Iowa State gymnastics team could move into the top-25 with another impressive performance this weekend at home against Centenary and Southeast Missouri, but coach Jay Ronayne doesn’t seem to care.

“I really don’t even pay much attention to that because it’s not that important to me,” Ronayne said.

The competition this weekend won’t be the challenge for the Cyclones. The highest score for either Centenary or Southeast Missouri is over three full points less than the lowest score of the season for Iowa State.

In gymnastics however, beating the opponent is not always the top priority. The Cyclones have improved their team score every meet this season and if that trend continues on Friday night, the Cyclones are likely to find themselves ranked in the top-25.

There is little significance to being in the top-25, other than having the ranking listed beside the team’s name. The number the Cyclones need most is 36.

They have to be ranked in the top-36 to qualify for regionals, but the Cyclones seem firmly entrenched as one of the 36 highest-scoring teams in the country.

“We know we have the potential to be far better than that,” Ronayne said.

Ronayne said his goal, in terms of rankings, is to be in the top 18. With six regions and six teams in each region, a top 18 finish would give the Cyclones a top-three seed in regionals.

“Traditionally or historically, two of the top three seeds in each region, make on to the national championship,” Ronayne said. “We’re aiming for top-18 but it’s too early to get caught up with where we are ranked right now because it’ll shuffle around.”

Iowa State avoids getting caught up with its ranking and the Cyclones also avoid focusing too much on their opponent. Last Friday, the Cyclones hosted the top-ranked team in the country, Oklahoma and lost handily.

But the atmosphere after the meet wasn’t that of a losing team, and for good reason. The Cyclones had their best team score of the season.

The Cyclones made the meets more similar to their practices.

“The big thing has been getting into the flow and being in the moment,” said Hilary Green after the Oklahoma meet.

The Cyclones were able to avoid the pressure of going against the No. 1 team in the country by not focusing on their opponent.

A week later, the circumstances are flipped in terms of opponent skill level, but in a way the circumstances remain the same. The opponents for this meet are the No. 64 and No. 66 ranked teams in the country.

“If we can stay as a team and have fun in this, then our gymnastics comes along,” captain Kelsey Paz told “We’re good on every single event. We are a top team on every single event.”