Gymnastics ready to bounce back in Illinois


Sophomore Kelsey Paz performs her uneven bars routine during the quad meet at Hilton Coliseum. Iowa State played host to North Carolina State, Nebraska, and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Feb. 21, and would go on to place third with a combined score of 194.9. 

Mary Rominger

It is back to the basics for the gymnastics team, as its coming back from two losses last weekend. It’s all about performing their best under pressure for Iowa State and bringing what they do at practice to the meet this weekend at Champaigne, Ill.

It is crucial for the Cyclones’ best gymnasts and their bar routines to achieve their highest capabilities in order to come out on top in Illinois which was an inconsistent area last weekend.

“We created uncomfortable situations where they need to perform for that moment ‘you’re on and this is what is expected and you need to get it done’ like the way competition is,” said coach Jay Ronayne. “I tried to make as many of those situations as possible.”

The top gymnasts, like Kelsey Paz, struggled to find consistency and bring the skills from the gym to the stage.

“We worked on handling pressure this week and making a team effort so everything we are doing in the gym right now is for our teammates,” Paz said. “And that determines their assignments and such so it’s a really good way to get ready for the meet.”

As the season winds down to just four meets, the ISU gymnastics team finds itself in a position with little room for error. This is true with the team’s pre-season goal to finish in the top 18 before regionals.

“We are looking at [the four remaining meets] as opportunities to score big and that will place us well into the regional championship,” Ronayne said. “If everyone nails great routines the way that they can, all at the same time, at a meet we are going to score 196 or better. That is going to get us really close to that top 18 goal.”

The team is ranked 33rd right now, but the difference between their standing now and in the top 18 isn’t unobtainable by any means. With that being said, it is important that the team acquires 196.00 and above tallies for the remaining meets.

“We’ve been working really hard on making routines,” said sophomore Micole O’Dell. “Last week, we have a downfall on bars which we’re hoping we pick back up and just hit routines because if this team just hits routines we can go 196.000 which is the main goal for the rest of the season.” 

Iowa State has a big chance to improve to 5-8 with a win this weekend.

“I don’t think they’re feeling it’s do or die now, but I think their feeling like now is our opportunity and now is the time to get it done.” Ronayne said. “There is something about pressure that gets you focused and that’s kind of what it is. It’s like this is the time to focus.”