Cy-Hawk Duel and Senior Night mix for ISU Gymnastics


Alex Marasco, senior, salutes the judges after finishing balance beam routine during the meet against Lindenwood and North Carolina State Jan. 23. Marasco would go on to earn a 9.875 for the event. 

Rachel Given

At Iowa State, rivalries are big, especially against Iowa. The ISU women’s gymnastics team faces a lot of big name rivals, but they’ve been looking forward to this one the most: the Cy-Hawk meet.

This year, the Hawkeyes are traveling to Ames to compete, and the team is hoping to Hilton Magic will come into play. Iowa State is 2-2 at home this season, but has had a history of winning against Iowa at home for the past few years.

“We don’t know why, it just is what it is,” said head coach Jay Ronayne. “Iowa is really good, but we have to be better than them, and it takes a lot.”

Ronayne admits he loves the Cy-Hawk series. He follows it from the first volleyball game all the way to the end of the semester and believes there is a lot of pride at stake.

“I know if we’re winning or losing all year round.  So it’s really important to me, and I know its really important to a lot of people in this state,” Ronayne said.

Going into her second year as a Cyclone, sophomore Kelsey Paz has some team goals set specifically for this meet.

“I want to redeem myself from last year, because we lost to Iowa last year,” said Paz. “We want to show everyone that Iowa State is an awesome school.”

Preparing for this meet is a little different than others. Ronayne believes it allows the team to focus on something other than themselves. He also notices the team is very much more team oriented in a very individualized sport. Paz said on Monday that she could already feel the energy for this meet.

“This is one thing that puts focus on a win as opposed to a score. Ronayne said. A gymnastics score is hypothetically more important than winning but for this one, winning is everything,”

This season, the Cy-Hawk duel is also senior night for four gymnasts.

“It’s really special to be able to bring [the cy-hawk] back home,” said senior Alex Marasco.

The team has been working really hard at the gym on little details, but has shifted their focus on stuck landings, form, and presentation.

“By doing these things, I feel like we’re well prepared for this weekend, we just need to put it all out there,” Marasco said.

Marasco has bittersweet feelings on it being her last home meet, but is excited to perform for many Cyclone fans in her home.

“The crowd makes us all pumped up. To see everyone cheering for us makes feel much more comfortable, and it gets us definitely more excited,” Marasco said.

Paz also said the team is excited to show Hilton and the crowd what the team can do one last time.