Iowa State learns from loss with mindset toward bigger meets

Brittany Mease

After an upsetting loss to Minnesota on Feb. 20 in Ames, the ISU gymnastics team is hoping to start with a fresh mindset as it prepares to take on upcoming meets.

The Cyclones (4-8-1, 0-2-1 Big 12) fell to the No. 19 Golden Gophers (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten) by a score of 196.350-194.125.

“Training is training, it doesn’t matter who we’re up against,” said ISU coach Jay Ronayne. “We’ve just been training to get better.”

In the coming weeks, the Cyclones will face teams such as No. 12 Penn State and Iowa. Meets like these will show how far the gymnasts are willing to push themselves for success.

As the season closes, eyes will be on the lone senior of the team, Caitlin Brown. Brown is in charge of leading this young team and preparing the gymnasts for the big stage — postseason.

“We have this [phrase] where we say, ‘you don’t have to be extraordinary,’” Brown said. “Be ordinary because what we do in the gym every day is good, very good and that’s your ordinary.”

Brown, along with the help of junior Alex Marasco and freshman Haylee Young, have been leading the team with strong numbers in their events. In the last three meets at Hilton, Brown has an average score of 9.800 in vault, bars and floor.

Young has matched that of Brown and exceeded her averages in the vault and on the floor with a solid score of 9.850. Marasco has put in her hard work with a 9.800 average on the beam in her last three appearances at Hilton.

Though these averages have helped balance the team, there have been stumbles occurring in the recent weeks at Hilton, with falls occurring in the Minnesota meet in events such as the bars and beam. These faults are what the team is focusing on fixing in order to reach its season peak at the Big 12 Championships and the NCAA Regionals coming up in late March and early April.

“We’re going to be strong, but we also know that we have each other’s backs. If someone falls we tell them that we have their back and that we’re going to get up there and hit our routines for them,” Young said. “Not everyone is going to be perfect all the time, it doesn’t happen.”

Ronayne has high hopes that the team will come out strong in the following weeks of practice, working on hitting routines and perfecting landings. Tweaking these fatal flaws is going to be key for theISU gymnasts with only one more home appearance before Big 12 Championships and the NCAA Regionals.

“It’s time. If we can’t do it now, we’re not going to do it,” Ronayne said. “There’s no other choice than to do it now.”