Flashes finish third in Kent State quad on senior day


Sophomore Sydney Chapman performs her pole vaulting stunts on March 10, 2019. Chapman, with encouragement from her teammates, performed with poise. 

Sara Al Harthi

 The Kent State gymnastics team honored its four seniors Sunday during the Kent State Quad in what was their last home meet

Ball State won the Kent State Quad with a score of 195.325, Rutgers placed second with 195.175, Kent State finished third with 192.550, and North Carolina came in last scoring only 192.325 points.

“Today’s meet was disappointing, that is certainly not what we’re used to or what they’re capable of doing,” coach Brice Biggin said.

Senior Kennedy Plude finished first on beam 9.875, while senior Sarah Lippowitsch tied for first place on bars with a 9.825

“Our seniors did really well, Sarah did have a fall on beam and that was disappointing for her, but she did a great bar routine,” Biggin said.

Dara Williams finished third on vault with a 9.825 and got a 9.700 on bars, while senior Nuriya Mack competed exhibition on beam.

“Another great Dara meet,” Biggin said.

Williams is planning to go to graduate school for sports psychology.

“I’m really excited about it because gymnastics is all sports psychology and the mental side,” Williams said.

On floor, sophomore Abby Fletcher finished third with a 9.900, junior Jade Brown and sophomore Toshi Richard both recorded a season-high of 9.850, while freshman Cami Klein finished second on beam with a 9.825

Williams said she hopes that the team keeps fighting and maintain the love they have for each other.

“At the end of the day, whether we win or we lose, we have each other,” Williams said. “So just making sure we are not only respecting each other, but have relationships outside the gym and just be able to connect on deeper levels.”  

The seniors walked out with their parents at the beginning of the meet.

“I walked out with my mom and my dad. It felt good. My mom was tearing up a little bit, but I knew I had a job to do today so I stayed calm,” Plude said.

Plude wishes to go home to Kansas City, Mo. to take a year off and work.

“I’m applying to medical school after that,” she said.

Plude describes her experience as very positive, she said it made her a better person and shaped her to be more of a team player instead of an individual one.

“I definitely gained a lot of new friends, a lot of people that I’ve met and I also gained more confidence,” Plude said.

Williams said that the team changes every year, but it’s rewarding for her to meet new people with different backgrounds and, says it’s cool being a part of the team.

“I think just the support here has been something that has been pretty extraordinary,” she said.

Family and friends filled the M.A.C. Center to say goodbye and support all the seniors at their last home meet.  

Sara Al Harthi is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].