Kent State gymnastics takes second at George Washington quad meet


Then a sophomore, Rachel Stypinski performs her balance beam routine on Feb. 7, 2016. Stypinski tied a Kent State record in the uneven bars (9.950) as the Flashes came in second at the George Washington quad meet on Feb. 4, 2018. 

Libby Schrack

Kent State gymnastics took second (195.325) against No. 25 George Washington (196.525), William and Mary (193.225) and Wisconsin-OshKosh (190.975) at the George Washington quad meet Sunday in Washington, D.C.

The Flashes (4-2, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) were led by Rachel Stypinski, who scored an all-around of 39.550. Her all-around performance was the third-highest score in Kent State gymnastics history.

Stypinski also had an historic performance on the uneven bars, scoring a near-perfect 9.950, tying her for the Kent State record.

“The bar group, who really struggled last week, went out today and did their job, which was good to see,” coach Brice Biggin said. “I also think we did really well on floor. We had a couple of mistakes on vault but nothing major.”

Overall, Biggin was pleased with the Flashes’ performance today compared to the previous week. He was proud of the focus his team carried, which can be difficult at a quad meet when multiple teams are competing at once.

“It was our first meet for the freshmen where there were four teams going at a time,” Biggin said.  “It is like a full-range circus out there; there is a lot of stuff going on. Sometimes teams tend to be more distracted. Our freshmen did a pretty good job not letting the extra stuff get to them.”

Stypinski stood out with her record-tying performance, but Biggin said he was also pleased with Michaela Romito’s 9.8 on the uneven bars and her 9.725 on the floor exercise.

Biggin hopes to keep improving each weekend, especially as the Flashes are preparing for more MAC meets.

Kent State will travel to Western Michigan and Central Michigan the following week. Biggin said his biggest concern is for the team to stay calm and focused.

“I think coming off the last meet where we really struggled, I certainly think today was much better,” Biggin said. “I want to come back to Kent and keep going in a positive direction. We have got two more away meets these next two weeks, and they’re MAC meets. These next two weeks are very crucial for us.”

Biggin said the team is still not as aggressive as he would like them to be on the balance beam and vault, and he hopes to see this improve in the coming weeks.

“The beam is not an event to be conservative on,” Biggin said, adding that this will be important for the team’s next few meets.

Kent State returns to the mat to take on Western Michigan in a tough road conference matchup at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11 in Kalamazoo.

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