COLUMBIA, Mo. ñ Iowa State junior gymnast Michelle Browning was named the Big 12 Gymnast of the Year the league announced Saturday at the Big 12 Championship at the Hearnes Center.|COLUMBIA, Mo. ñ Iowa State junior gymnast Michelle Browning was named the Big 12 Gymnast of the Year the league announced Saturday at the Big 12 Championship at the Hearnes Center. Cyclone freshman Michelle Shealy took home the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Award as well.
The No. 20 Iowa State gymnastics team placed third at the league championship with a score of 195.150. No. 11 Nebraska won the event with a 196.775. No. 4 Oklahoma placed second (196.500) and Missouri took fourth with a tally of 194.975.
Browning became the first Cyclone to win league’s gymnast of the year honor since Janet Anson (2007). Browning is the third Cyclone to win the award, and it marked the fourth time an Iowa State gymnast has won the honor.
“In my mind she has been gymnast of the year no matter what award is handed to her,” Iowa State head coach Jay Ronayne said. “She is the model student-athlete and deserves this prestigious award.”
Shealy is the first Cyclone to take home the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Award since Megan Barnes in 2007. Shealy is the sixth Iowa State gymnast to win the award.
“I am proud to know that my peers recognize the talent that Michelle Shealy has shown every meet this year,” Ronayne said. “What makes this award even more special is that it rewards her for her hard work, dedication and passion for the sport.”
Browning placed second in the all-around at the competition with a tally of 39.150. Missouri’s Mary Burke won the title, scoring 39.300.
After a low-scoring vault effort (48.425), Iowa State rallied with strong efforts in its final three events to rally past Missouri for third place.
“Scores were low on vault, but remained consistent throughout the meet,” Ronayne said. “With vault being our first event, we could have let our low scores drag us down. However, we responded with three strong events, and I am proud of our team.”
Iowa State will next compete at an NCAA Regional on April 2.