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The independent news website of The Kent Stater & TV2


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Graduate student becomes first Kent State gymnast in 20 years to land a perfect score

Annemarie Karabinus
Kent State senior Karlie Franz dismounts after her vault routine during the Beauty and the Beast meet on Jan. 29.

Karlie Franz, a fifth-year gymnast for the Flashes, went perfect in her floor routine at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic on Friday, Jan. 19.

The last Kent State student to record a perfect 10.000 was Jessie James in 2004.

Reflecting on the moment, Franz said seeing the judge turn around a score that read “10.000” felt like such a blur, and after achieving this feat, she feels she can walk away from the sport completely proud.

“Getting a 10.000 has always been a dream of mine,” Franz said.

After graduating in May of 2023 with a degree in Psychology, Franz had the option to come back for a fifth year with the gymnastics team.

She said she battled with the idea of returning but eventually decided that she would regret not coming back for a final fifth year.

For Franz, this year is mostly about having fun and not putting too much pressure on herself.

Franz said she began her gymnastics career at the age of 3 and hasn’t slowed down since. She spent five years as a level 10 gymnast, which is the highest level one can reach.

The Michigan native committed to Kent State her freshman year of high school. Franz comes from 20 Kent State alumni in her family and said she quickly found a second home among her teammates.

“My favorite part of this program is being able to become family with the people here,” she said.

Sarah Haxton, a senior nursing student on the team, said Franz has a passion for the sport unlike any other. 

“Karlie has been a constant leader on our team,” she said, “and will continue to guide our team to achieve our goals until the day she is done with this sport.”

Brice Biggin, the team’s head coach, said Franz is someone you can trust to give 100 percent at all times. 

“I think when you describe Karlie as a gymnast you would use words like leader and role model,” he said.

Being an upperclassman, Franz said she makes an effort to look after and help the underclassman. This season, they hold an overall record of 6-2. 

“I am excited to see what this team can accomplish the rest of the season,” Franz said.

Abbie Wilfing is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Annemarie Karabinus, Photographer, Opinion Writer
Annemarie is very involved in student media. From Kentwired, to TV2, to Black Squirrel Radio she does it all.

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