Iowa State Gymnasts Rally Past Kent State
AMES, Iowa - Iowa State (2-0 overall, 0-0 Big 12 Conference) narrowly edged past Kent State 193.625-193.575 Friday in Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones had a series of gymnasts deliver high-scoring performances down the stretch to rally past the Golden Flashes (0-1 overall, 0-0 MAC).
Iowa State trailed heading into the final rotation by a score of 145.500-145.025, but the Cyclones edged past Kent State with a strong performance on floor. Sara Townsend (9.750), Henrietta Green (9.800) and Elizabeth Stranahan (9.850) closed the meet for Iowa State and delivered efforts that proved to be the difference. The event appeared poised for a tie before a previously submitted scoring appeal was approved and Iowa State's team tally improved to give the Cyclones the victory.
Kent State's Whitnee Johnson won the vault title with a 9.825 effort. The Golden Flashes' Rachel Guida took top honors on bars, tallying 9.825. Iowa State's Michelle Shealy won beam, scoring 9.775 on the apparatus. Stranahan closed the meet with an event-winning effort on floor, with a season-high 9.850. The Cyclones' Henrietta Green won the all-around in her collegiate debut in the competition with a score of 38.775.
The Cyclones were without the services of sophomore Caitlin Brown who won the all-around in Iowa State's first meet of the season. Brown was injured during practice, but should make her way back into the Cyclone lineup soon.
Freshman Kristen DeCosta earned the Mari-Rae Sopper Outstanding Performance Award which is bestowed upon the gymnast whose performance inspired and captivated the Cyclone coaches, teammates and fans. DeCosta made her collegiate debut and registered a 9.775 score on bars.
With the win, Iowa State posted victories in its first two meets since the 2007 campaign.
Iowa State showed dramatic improvement from its first meet of the season, scoring more than two points higher in the final team tally. The Cyclones registered a 191.525 mark in their season-opening meet on Sunday. The biggest event improvement for Iowa State on an event came on vault, where the Cyclones scored 48.825 after notching a 46.950 in the season's first completion.
The Cyclones will have a lengthy layoff before they return to competition. Iowa State travels to Minneapolis, Minn., to face Minnesota on Jan. 26 in the team's next competition. The meet is slated to begin at 6 p.m. CT.