Williams posts career-high in Pink Meet win

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Freshman Madison Iannuzzo serves the audience with a beam performance on Feb. 24, 2019.   

Sara Al Harthi

The Kent State gymnastics team continued its winning streak Friday in the Pink Meet, as the Flashes earned their seventh straight victory in a row with 195.700-195.050 win over Western Michigan.

“We have been really building up since the beginning of the season and honestly this isn’t even our peak,” Sophomore Abby Fletcher said. “We can still do better, and we needed this win for our confidence. I really think we’re just going up from here.”

Although the Flashes have had some bad landings in several events, they still managed to defeat the Broncos.

“We went through three meets in seven days and only had two days of practice this week,” coach Brice Biggin said, “I think their bodies are a little bit tired right now, but yet you see them fight to get through what they did tonight.”

Fletcher tied her career high 9.925 on floor exercise and got her third title this season. Junior Sarah McCarty posted a season high 9.900 and finished second.

“Floor had a few changes this year, but I think we’ve handled them really well,” Fletcher said. “Everyone’s just really working on keeping the energy. I’ve been having fun with the crowd because that’s what helps us the most. I feel like it’s finally coming together and I was set up perfectly by my teammates, so it was pretty easy to do that.”

Senior Dara Williams scored a career high 9.925 on bars while junior Jade Brown earned a career high 9.825 and tied for third place.

“I still can’t believe it. It’s kind of surreal,” Williams said. “I knew exactly where I need to put my body and that’s really good. It was just a really good routine to do for my team.”

Biggin said Williams has improved a lot since she joined the team and has “one of the greatest attitudes I have seen from a kid.”

On vault, Kent State recorded a team score of 48.600. Williams recorded a 9.800 to finish second, while McCarty scored a 9.775 for third place.  

“I think the best part about our scores that we know where we need to improve and that we know we can get better,” Williams said. “We’re really excited about our sport because it definitely shows how hard we fought since the beginning of the season. I’m very proud of this team.”

The purpose of the meet was to raise awareness and to support the fight against breast cancer. The team helped prepare the event as they made raffle baskets and worked on custom T-shirts.

“I’ve been helping since October, we’re so grateful for all the donations we’ve got from Stow, Hudson and downtown Kent,” Fletcher said. “Everyone’s so generous, and it’s so much fun putting the baskets together. It’s a great cause. It means a lot to get a win for this cause.”  

Biggin said getting the team involved is important because it gives them an extra sense of what the cause is really about.

Fletcher walked out with her aunt, who is a breast cancer survivor.

“I’m so grateful to have her with me tonight,” she said.

Kristine Slam, a former Kent State gymnast, founded the COSACares to help those who have been or are affected by breast cancer.

“It’s an unbelievably worthy cause that affects so many people,” Biggin said. “We are fortunate that Kristine Slam, one of our former gymnasts, runs a clinic that helps people out, and for us to be able to donate money to her help those people is amazing. I told the team that this is bigger than the meet; It’s people’s lives. So if we can do something to help them out then I think the win certainly did tonight.”

The M.A.C. Center was filled with fans and spectators wearing pink to support the cause.

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