Gymnastics, wrestling teams look to carry momentum in Beauty and the Beast event

Kent State red-shirt freshman Shane Mast struggles against Oklahoma State senior Nolan Boyd during Kent State University’s Beauty and the Beast double meet event for gymnastics and wrestling on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017.

The Kent State gymnastics and wrestling teams will be competing simultaneously against Central Michigan in the Beauty and the Beast event, which will be returning after a one-year hiatus.  

Gymnastics coach Brice Biggin thinks the excitement of the MAC dual this weekend will give the gymnastics team some momentum they can carry into their first home meet of the season.  

“You’re always more comfortable in your home arena more than when you’re away,” Biggin said. “You have the equipment that you practice on every day, you’re familiar with the lighting and the whole set of the gym.”

The gymnastics team has an overall record of 4-4 thus far this season. They placed third at the NIU Quad on Friday, posting scores of 48.475 on vault, 48.125 on bars and 46.575 on floor.

The Kent State Wrestling Team is coming off their seventh win of the season last Friday against Cleveland State, and coach Jim Andrassy said the key to victory on Sunday will be winning close matches.

If I was a betting man, I would say there’s one match that we think we can win, and there’s three matches that (Central Michigan) thinks they can win, so that leaves six up for grabs,” Andrassy said. “We just gotta find a way to win those close ones.”

Biggin made consistency the main theme of the Flashes’ practices this week.  

“If (the team isn’t) focused they’re going to be sloppy and inconsistent and those are the things that lead to a bad meet for us,” Biggin said.

Freshman Madison Trott has quickly emerged as one of the stars for the Flashes this season, as she scored a 9.750 on floor the last time out. Seniors Dara Williams and Kennedy Plude also made an impact, with Williams scoring a 9.750 on vault and a 9.825 on bars while Kennedy scored a 9.825 on beam.

The uniqueness of the Beauty and the Beast event not only brings an aura of controlled chaos, but also allows for wrestling and gymnastics to reach people they might not normally reach.

“It’s an opportunity to show off the program that we have in front of a lot of people,” Andrassy said. “That’s what it is more about than anything.”  

The event also is the first home meet for the gymnastics team, something that Biggin hopes the gymnastics team takes into account when they take on Central Michigan.

“(Central Michigan) is a big rival and it’s our first home meet, the girls are usually always excited for our home meets,” Biggin said. “I think there are a lot of things that are going on our favor.”

Andrassy hopes that the event brings out more than just fans of wrestling and gymnastics.

“It’s an opportunity for families to come to an event with kids,” Andrassy said.  “Our administration loves it. In the past, our president has loved it. It’s something everybody can go to.”

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

Brandon Lewis a sports reporter. Contact him [email protected].