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Strong Iowa State Gymnastics Effort Can’t Overcome No. 18 Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The Iowa State gymnastics team posted its second-highest score of 2012 Saturday at the Sports Pavilion, but No. 18 Minnesota won the meet 196.125-195.375. Cyclone senior co-captain Michelle Browning buoyed the Iowa State effort by tying for the all-around title with a 39.225 tally.

Iowa State (5-6 overall, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) senior Celine Paulus delivered a sterling performance, highlighted by a career-high-tying and event-title-tying 9.900 on floor. The Yorba Linda, Calif., native posted her third-highest all-around tally of her career with a 39.175 as well. Paulus’ 9.900 on floor was her fourth score of 9.900 or higher this season.

“Michelle and Celine have had really strong senior seasons and continued it tonight,” head coach Jay Ronayne said. “I was very proud of their performances, and they delivered when we needed them the most. They both were a big part of why we had our second-highest score of the season tonight. In my mind they were both the MVPs of the meet.”

In addition to tying for the all-around title, Browning took top honors on bars with a 9.850, just .025 off her career-high tally on the apparatus. Browning also tied for first on beam with fellow Cyclone Michelle Shealy and Minnesota’s Shannon Golich with a score of 9.825.

Browning has tallied 39.225 or higher in the all-around in the last three Cyclone meets.

Minnesota’s Golich and Jenny Covers tied for first on vault with scores of 9.850. The Gophers’ Janell Campbell and Dusti Russell tied for the floor and all-around titles, respectively.

The Cyclones started off with a solid effort on bars of 48.825. Shealy tied her season-high tally of 9.775, while Paulus added a strong 9.800 in addition to Browning’s event-winning 9.850.

Iowa State moved to vault for the second rotation and scored 48.650 on the apparatus. Caitlin Brown and Paulus tied for the team-high-score of 9.750.

For the third rotation Iowa State performed on floor and tallied a stellar 49.000. Browning and Stranahan each scored 9.825 on the event, while Paulus’ 9.900 was top Cyclone effort.

The Cyclones concluded the night on beam with a strong 48.900. In addition to Browning and Shealy’s 9.825, Iowa State saw solid scores from Hailey Johnson (9.775), Brown (9.750) and Paulus (9.725).

The Cyclones compete at Nebraska on Friday for their next meet. The event is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

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