Critical falls hinder overall scores for ISU gymnasts in regular season


Senior Caitlin Brown prepares to finish her routine on the uneven bars.

Kevin Horner

For the ISU gymnasts, even when they would excel in a certain area or an event during the meet above their expectations, it seemed as if missteps in another area would overshadow their successes.

If only, during those particular meets, Iowa State logged simply average numbers in the events it has struggled in — combined with elevated performances in other areas — it could have broken through that barrier of 196.000 that has hung over the team all season.

For example, when the Cyclones traveled to State College, Pa. on Feb. 28, they finished the meet in second place despite a season-high score of 49.275 on the vault. This resulted from an underwhelming number on the bars of 48.425 — in large part to two sub-9.400 numbers. If that pair of uncharacteristic numbers is replaced with season average scores, the Cyclones may have claimed victory on the East Coast. 

In another instance, at a meet with Centenary at Hilton, the ISU gymnasts were one mistake away from finally putting it all together — executing in every aspect of the meet. Yet, again, an uncharacteristic mistake prevented the Cyclones from eclipsing the 196.000 mark. 

It was on the beam, the ISU gymnasts had already logged four solid scores, all above or equal to 9.775, as well as a lower score of 9.400 that the Cyclones were hoping not to have to utilize. Given Caitlin Brown anchored the event, the Cyclones had an excellent chance to eclipse a 49.000 on the beam. However, an atypical fall for Brown resulted in a 9.300, 0.473 below Brown’s average and 0.650 below her career-high.

These missed opportunities plagued the Cyclones in the regular season, but, with that being said, the team knows it has the potential to score high in the future if it executes in all facets of the meet.