Kent State gymnastics season ends after NCAA Regionals


Senior Rachel Stypinski on the balance beam during Kent State’s annual Pink Meet, scoring a 9.925. The Flashes lost the meet against Eastern Michigan with a final score of 194.875-193.925. [FILE]

Libby Schrack

The Kent State gymnastics team competed in Columbus, Ohio, this past Saturday at the NCAA Regionals, coming in last out of six teams, ending the season.

The Flashes closed out the year with freshman Abby Fletcher placing second on the floor exercise and senior Rachel Stypinski returning to compete after a serious injury.

The team ended with a score of 194.375. The Flashes’ best event of the night was the floor exercise. Coach Brice Biggin was proud of his team’s final performance.

“I don’t think we could have gotten a whole lot more out of them,” Biggin said. “I am really proud. We went out and hit 22 out of 24 routines, had new people step up and they came through and did a great job.”

Biggin was impressed with all the adversity and injuries the team has overcome.

“Floor was something we obviously knew was a strong group of kids over there,” Biggin said.

Biggin was mostly impressed with Fletcher’s performance on the floor exercise and is excited to see what is in store for the team’s future.

“The freshmen in general really performed well,” Biggin said. “We are very thrilled and excited about what they are able to do and the experience they got competing tonight.”

Although Biggin is excited for his young team’s future after this season, he had words to say about one specific senior: Stypinski.

Stypinski faced an injury three weeks ago on Senior Night. The all-American ended the night on the floor exercise. She opened up her routine with a powerful double lay-out. The skill resulted in an injury where she left the competition for a visit to the emergency room.

Stypinski made a comeback no one predicted and competed on the uneven bars at the regional meet, where she led the team with the highest score on the event.

“I have done this job for a lot of years,” Biggin said. “I have seen a lot of athletes go through a lot for this program, and I literally cannot think of a kid who could have done what she did tonight.”

Biggin couldn’t help but talk about how much heart Stypinski had.

“She stuck her dismount,” Biggin said, “and she has not performed that since before the injury. Now that is just incredible.”

Libby Schrack is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].