Kent State gymnastics falls short to Ball State


Kent State senior Rachel Stypinski performs her floor routine during Kent State’s “Flip for Cure” meet against Central Michigan at the M.A.C. Center on Feb. 19. 2017. [FILE]

Libby Schrack

Kent State gymnastics (2-1, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) faced its first loss of the season to Ball State (6-3, 1-0 MAC) by a final score of 195.600 to 193.600.

“As a team, we really didn’t have any highlights today,” said coach Brice Biggin. 

The team started off with a strong bar warm-up, but that unfortunately didn’t translate to the competition. After the first rotation, the Flashes were down a large margin of .875.

Ball State recorded the second-best scores on vault in school history (49.075). The Cardinals had a successful meet led by Kaitlyn Menzione, who won the all-around with a career best of 39.150.

Biggin admitted the team looked nervous and thinks that may be the reason the Flashes lost their momentum.

“We looked cautious, we looked flat, we looked uninterested, … some things you never really want to see as a coach,” Biggin said. “It started on our first event, and we had two seniors with major mistakes which can start the meet off in a very difficult manner.”

Kent State was not up to its full potential, while the Cardinals had their best meet thus far. Although Biggin was not pleased with the team’s overall performance, there were two gymnasts that stood out to him.

Senior Brooke Timko won bars with a 9.825, and senior Ali Marrero won the balance beam with a 9.825.

Another senior who shined was Michaela Romito. Biggin noted how positive she stayed throughout the competition.

“Brooke Timko steps up every week; she’s only doing bars but she does bars extremely well,” Biggin said. “She’s had a bad shoulder all four years, and she is one of the gutsiest kids I know. Michaela Romito also had a really great meet. Those two seniors certainly stepped up and did what they needed to.”

Intensity is Biggin’s main focus for this next week of preparation at practice. The Flashes are looking to fix every mistake during practice in the hopes it will help with their performances.

“If you make mistakes in practice, you can’t expect to go out there and have a perfect meet,” Biggin said.  

Kent State returns to competition at 1 p.m. Sunday in Washington, D.C. as the team takes on George Washington, Wisconsin-OshKosh and William & Mary in the George Washington Quad.

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