Kent State seniors prepare for regular season finale


Senior Milena Fabry performs on the balance beam at the woman’s gymnastics meet on Jan. 20, 2017.

Scott Lendak

Kent State gymnastics seniors will compete in their final home meet Friday, something senior Milena Fabry said would be bittersweet.

“I’m excited because it is a home meet, and those are always fun,” Fabry said. “It’s also sad though, because it’s the last time we’ll ever compete in front of our home crowd.”

Assistant Coach Craig Ballard said that he is going to miss each senior and all of their hard work.

“They all bring something different to the program,” Ballard said. “It’s refreshing to see because they aren’t all highly recruited athletes. They come in and work hard, focus and put their time in to get better. I will miss their ability to grind at times and get stuff done.”

Fabry will be attending medical school after graduation, and she said the lessons she learned from gymnastics will help her throughout the rest of her life.

“Learning how to work on a team is something that will be very important,” Fabry said. “In the adult world, we’ll have to work in teams all of the time, so being able to compromise with the team and coaches has helped me a lot.”

Ballard said he hopes the seniors can look back at what they have accomplished and feel proud.

“Hopefully, the hard work they put in is going to pay off,” Ballard said. “In the future, they can look back and see everything they accomplished in four years and say, ‘I (helped) build that program.’”

Gymnastics has been a part of Fabry’s life for a long time, and she said it has helped her become a better person.

“Gymnastics has completely shaped who I am,” Fabry said. “It has given me confidence and has allowed me to grow in every aspect of my life. It’s something really important that will always stick with me.”

Senior Samantha Gordon said that Kent State gymnastics will forever be in her heart.

“It is who you are for four years,” Gordon said with a smile. “You literally introduce yourself as a Kent State gymnast. It’s who I am, and I feel like it will be who I am forever.”

Gordon stressed that it will be hard to participate in the final home meet and contain her emotions.

“It’s going to be emotional in every way,” Gordon said. “It’s our last regular season meet, so that in itself is emotional. It’s also our last meet in the M.A.C. (Center) and our senior year. There are just a lot of different emotions for every situation.”

Fabry said her emotions would be fairly similar to any other meet.

“I get super nervous for every meet I go to, so it’s always emotional for me,” Fabry said laughing. “I don’t think it will hit me until after I hit my routine. Then I will probably start crying right away.”

Gordon, who is from Wellington, Florida, said that the team has been a great support system the past four years.

“I’m from Florida, so I don’t have anybody around here,” Gordon said. “Any time I need something, these are the people that I go to. They mean the world to me because I know they would do anything for me.”

The Flashes will take on Ball State in the Mid-American Conference regular season finale. This will be their last meet before the MAC Championship at Bowling Green.

Ballard said the team has to remain focused for the meet despite high emotions.

“We just need to keep it in check until after the meet,” Ballard said. “We still have a job to do, and there are a lot of things to accomplish. We can worry about celebrating and giving the seniors their due at the end of the meet.”

Though Friday marks the final regular season meet for the seniors, Fabry said the relationships they’ve built will live forever. 

“You’re not just with them at the gym,” Fabry said. “You realize you live with them and hang out with them every day. They understand what you go through every day, which is great. They are just the best friends anyone could ever ask for.”

The meet is Friday at 7 p.m. in the M.A.C. Center. 

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