Iowa State falls to top-10 opponents in Metroplex Challenge

Kevin Horner

The big stage and multiple ranked opponents in Fort Worth on Saturday proved too much for ISU gymnastics.

In its first four-team of the season, Iowa State (1-6-1, 0-1-1 Big 12)  finished behind all three competitors with a season-lowest score of 193.400.

No. 1 Oklahoma (8-0, 1-0 Big 12) exemplified its national rank by taking the meet with a score of 197.700, followed closely by No. 2 LSU (6-1, 3-0 SEC) with a score of 197.425 and No. 8 Arkansas (2-4, 1-2 SEC) with a score 196.250.

For the Cyclones, their combined score fell nearly a point and a half shy of their season average. From a closer perspective, it is clear that this final number in large part resulted from the Cyclones’ performance on the balance beam.

The beam, Iowa State’s most successful event to date this season, was a stumbling block for the Cyclones on Saturday. Due to multiple falls in the event, three out of the six gymnasts scored a 9.100 or below, resulting in a combined score of 47.475.

Senior Caitlin Brown and freshman Briana Ledesma led Iowa State on the uneven bars, each scoring a 9.825. The team’s combined score of 48.900 was its best of the evening.

Freshman Haylee Young led the Cyclones in both the vault and the floor exercise with two identical scores of 9.800, but Iowa State still failed to meet its season averages in the events, scoring a 48.500 and 48.525, respectively.

Iowa State will hope to turn things around next weekend as it will take part in two meets back in Ames.

The first meet, a rematch against No. 1 Oklahoma, is set to start at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 at Hilton Coliseum.