After a slow start to the season, Cyclone Gymnastics is coming off its first win against West Virginia. With a week off to freshen up and prepare, they looked to get things going against No. 12 Denver.
The Cyclones posted their second-best score of the season in hopes of toppling the fringe top-10 team in Denver, but the Pioneers proved too much to handle.
The Cyclones had to leave with their fourth loss of the season, losing to Denver 195.775-196.950.
The Cyclones opened the competition slowly on the uneven bars, but managed to gain ground to finish the event. But it wasn’t enough.
Laura Cooke and Ariana Orrego tied their career highs on bars, scoring 9.825. Loganne Basuel set a new season high of 9.875 and pulled the Cyclones closer to Denver after the first rotation.
Basuel led the Cyclones on bars for the third time this young season. Cyclones would only lag 0.2 points before the vault rotates.
The rotation of the jump went the same way as the first event. Orrego and Kaia Parker had scores of 9.775, which gave the rest of the team a boost as neither of the following scores were below 9.800.
Kelsey Boychuk earned a new season high of 9.850, while Josie Bergstrom followed with a career high of 9.875.
Makayla Maxwell suffered an early setback on the uneven bars but was able to rebound for her vault routine. Maxwell had his second 9.900 of the season to cut Denver’s lead to 98.500-98.150.
Strong performances on the vault gave the Cyclones their highest vault score of the season at 49.225.
Although the Cyclones had all the momentum going for them, Denver continued to apply the pressure. The Cyclones would be transitioning to the ground rotation, which has become more consistent as the season progressed.
The ground has been an area of focus for the Cyclones throughout the season. Although progress has been made in recent meetings, the Cyclones couldn’t move things in the right direction against Denver.
Cooke had a solid 9.825 early in the rotation, but the Cyclones didn’t see another score above 9.800. Freshman Rachel Wilke posted a score of 9.775 in her young college career, while Maddie Diab also posted a 9.775.
The Cyclones had seen higher scores recently on the floor, so a step back wasn’t ideal.
Hannah Loyim took to the floor for the second time in her college career to close out the Cyclones rotation. Loyim got things moving in the right direction by posting a new career high of 9.750.
The Cyclones would take advantage of the momentum heading into the final event of the day, the balance beam.
The beam team made up for the lack of floor production by tying their best score of the season.
Sophia Steinmeyer and Boychuk set new season highs of 9.775 and 9.750, respectively.
A fall midway through the beam rotation put pressure on the Cyclones, but Basuel bucked the momentum after his beam routine. Basuel posted a new career high of 9.850 to lead the Cyclones.
Although the beam routines have improved dramatically throughout the season, that wouldn’t be enough to beat Denver.
First year phenomena
A loss is never ideal, but gym season means growth.
Denver is a tough team to play against at home, but strong all-around performances should give the Cyclones some insight into what to focus on going forward.
One area that has been impressive throughout the season is the freshman class. The freshmen have performed well in each competition and continue to improve.
There were three freshmen who earned their place among the queues. Bergstrom continues to improve on vault posting a new career high score against Denver.
Wilke became a mainstay in the roster on the ground as she posted the second-highest score of the event for the Cyclones.
Loyim is the last freshman to compete for the Cyclones this season, and she has continued to improve. Loyim competed in every event throughout the season and posted scores on bars, floor and beam against Denver.
Having an immediate impact freshman has been important to the success of the season and should be a good indication of success down the road.
There’s still room for improvement, but the nerves will start to come off as the season progresses.
The Cyclones will be back in action on February 18 as they take part in the GymQuarters Invitational.
Results (the top five scores are counted):
Loganne Basuel: 9.875
Laura Cooke: 9,825
Ariana Orrego: 9.825
Ana Palacios: 9.725
Hannah Loyim: 9,675
Makayla Maxwell: 9.075
Makayla Maxwell: 9,900
Josie Bergstrom: 9.875
Kelsey Boychuk: 9,850
Emilie Hong: 9,825
Ariana Orrego: 9.775
Kaia Parker: 9.775
Laura Cooke: 9,825
Rachel Wilke: 9.775
Maddie Diab: 9.775
Hannah Loyim: 9,750
Kelsey Boychuk: 9.675
Andrea Maldonado: 9,600
Loganne Basel: 9,850
Meixi sample: 9,800
Sophie Steinmeyer: 9.775
Hannah Loyim: 9,750
Kelsey Boychuk: 9,750
Ana Palacios: 8.975