ISU uses win to boost confidence in second meet at Hilton


Emily Blobaum/Iowa State Daily

Sydney Converse, freshman, performs her balance beam routine during the meet against Lindenwood and North Carolina State Jan. 23. Converse would go on to earn a 9.65 for the event. 

Rachel Given

The ISU gymnastics team feels confident after winning its first home meet of the season, and the gymnasts will attempt to carry that momentum into this weekend at Hilton Coliseum. 

“We want to continue building upon our practices from last week,” said assistant coach Katie Minasola. “We had a really good week of practice working on details. I think this fourth meet, for us, was a turning point for our season, and I think we’re only going to build from there.”

The team will face West Virginia for the second conference meet of the season at 6:30 p.m. in Ames. The Mountaineers and the Cyclones have always had toss-up meets in the recent past. The Cyclones had won the regular season meet and the Big 12 championship meet two years ago, but just last year, the teams tied in the regular season and the Cyclones lost in the Big 12 championship.

While everyone on the team attends the meet, not everyone gets to compete. Team lineups are never set every week because the girls have to work for their spots. This week was no different, adding more emphasis on getting the competitor side out of the gymnasts more.

“[The coaching staff felt] like the first three meets [the team] didn’t have that competitive edge in the competition,” Minasola said. “In practice they do great, but we’re looking for that competitive spirit and I think we found it last weekend.”

Freshman Kelly Martin had a rough first meet last weekend, as she split the beam in her only event of the night.

“I was just going for my dismount and when I took off, my foot coming down slid off,” Martin said.

Martin has since changed her dismount.

“I’m actually good at it,” Martin said. 

Even though the routine didn’t work out in her favor, Martin believes carrying the same mindset she had last week will work for this weekend, with the new ending to her routine.

“I’m still going to stay [in the] same mindset, try to be more confident in myself and try not to doubt anything,” Martin said.

All around, the team feeling confidence is a major component that needs to be worked on.

Senior Sara Townsend said the team has no problem with confidence, it just doesn’t always show.

“We’re really confident in the gym, we just have a little difficulty transitioning that to the meet floor,” Townsend said.

While it’s not just the basketball teams that believe in Hilton Magic, the gymnastics team also feels it played a crucial role last week and hope it shifts into this weekend as well.

“You just get a special feeling when you walk into the arena,” Townsend said. “You know the crowd and the environment really does push you to do better.”