Flashes continue momentum heading into MAC Championship

Scott Lendak

Senior Jordan Hardison couldn’t contain her emotions after her father, Leonard, dressed in gold overalls and blue hair, escorted her to the center of the court for her final home meet.

“It means a lot that he was the one to escort me,” Hardison said with a smile. “He’s always been there for me, so I was happy he was able to walk me out and be there for my last home meet.”

Hardison won individual titles in the floor routine and vault, and received a 9.925 on floor and a 9.825 on vault.

“It was really important to me that I won two events that I’ve been working so hard on,” Hardison said. “I love competing in the M.A.C. Center, and it was really nice to take home some titles.”

The Flashes scored a season-best team score 196.425 in the victory against Ball State.

“I feel very good about our chances in the MAC Championship,” coach Brice Biggin said. “We are certainly a much better team right now than we were at the beginning of the season. I feel that if we perform the way we are capable, we certainly are a team you have to look toward.”

The Flashes scored the fifth highest balance beam score in school history with a 49.250. Junior Rachel Stypinski won the individual title for the event with a 9.950.

“Beam is an event where we really felt like we should be really solid,” Biggin said. “It took a couple of weeks to gel into that, but right now we have a team that is one of the best we’ve ever had on beam.”

Kent State received its best score on the uneven bars this season with a 49.200. Stypinski won the individual title with a 9.900.

“We’ve worked hard and have really tried to relax on bars,” Biggin said. “They can do the routines in practice all of the time. We’ve created situations in practice that are similar to a meet, and those pressure sets have really helped us out.”

Senior Skyelee Lamano delivered a floor routine full of smiles as her teammates mimicked and danced along with her on the sidelines.

“We do better when we are more obnoxious and having more fun,” Lamano said laughing. “I’m going to miss this team’s support. They are always behind me no matter what.”

Lamano said she had a hard time keeping her emotions in check.

“There were so many emotions going on, it was a little difficult to control them,” Lamano said. “My dad was crying the whole meet, and that got me going. I just appreciate them so much coming here from Utah. When my dad tears up, I tear up, but I tried to compose myself as much as possible. It was something that I will remember forever.”

Biggin expressed that he is going to miss the senior class next season.

“They have a genuine joy and love for this sport,” Biggin said. “They’ve produced a lot of great scores for us. The leadership they have provided says a lot about what they are made of. It’s going to be tough to replace a group like this.”

Junior Brooke Timko tied her career-high on beam (9.850) and bars (9.875).

“Getting the win was just icing on the cake,” Lamano said. “It was so much fun to have the crowd out there cheering for me, and I love making faces at them too. It was a great time.”

The Flashes will compete in the Mid-American Conference Championship at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bowling Green.

Scott Lendak is the gymnastics reporter, contact him at [email protected].