Gymnastics picks up Senior Night win, lose star Stypinski to injury


Kent State senior gymnast Rachel Stypinski finishes her bar routine during the Flashes’ win at the Kent State Tri-Meet on March 16, 2018. Stypinski left the meet due to injury.

Libby Schrack

The crowd that filled the M.A.C. Center Friday night fell silent when Kent State gymnast Rachel Stypinski ended her Senior Night floor routine early due to an injury.

Stypinski, coming off a career-high beam routine that scored a 9.975, prepared herself for her final floor routine on her home turf as a member of the Flashes. She began the routine with a powerful double-layout backflip that resulted in what appeared to be a serious leg injury.

Kent State coach Brice Biggin said Stypinkski didn’t break her ankle and is waiting for an update on Monday to make sure there are no other injuries. 

Despite the star’s injury, the Flashes finished the meet with a score of 196.325 to win the Kent State Tri-Meet over No. 18 George Washington (195.650) and Temple (195.075).

“A positive from tonight was that we made a lot of routines,” Biggin said. “They are doing their job. This is how we really felt this team was going to be like this year. In the last couple weeks, they have really come together.”

Biggin was pleased with the overall team performances, but couldn’t help but reflect on Stypinski’s injury.

“Losing Rachel at the end of the meet was obviously tough on the team,” Biggin said. “But it was really tough on her because she has meant so much to this program.”

Junior Alyssa Quinlan, who is graduating early, was also recogniz at Senior Night. Quinlan also had a career-high on the balance beam with a 9.85.

“I was just so excited to compete one last time in front of everyone and just show them what I could do,” Quinlan said.

Quinlan said she told herself that today was just one more meet and to take it all in.

Senior Michaela Romito also had solid routines and was very pleased with her team.

“Tonight was a great step in progress for (Mid-American Conference) Championships next week,” Romito said.

Romito hopes the team improves on cleaning up little details and sticking more landings.

“I was so excited to compete tonight,” Romito said. “It’s bittersweet. Our bodies are about done, but yeah, it was a really exciting atmosphere.”

Romito is close with her teammate Stypinski and had nothing but praise to say about her friend.

“Rachel is one of the greatest teammates,” Romito said. “She is just so influential in the gym, and her success is just something to admire.”

Biggin expressed his pride in coaching this unique senior class.

“This senior class has literally been one of the hardest-working, best attitudes and great leaders in and out of the gym,” Biggin said. “They are so determined, and when you get a whole class that determined, it is contagious to our younger athletes.”

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