Beauty and the Beast returns to the M.A.C. Center


Kent State junior Brooke Timko celebrates after her performance on the uneven bars at a meet against the University of West Virginia at the M.A.C. Center on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. Kent State lost 195.950-194.875.

The Kent State M.A.C. Center was filled with both wrestling mats and balance beams Saturday in preparation for the Beauty and the Beast event, an event in which both wrestling and gymnastics teams compete at the same time.

“Being able to bring the gymnastics and wrestling teams together is obviously something you never see,” gymnastics head coach Brice Biggin said. “It’s cool to see the interactions and what you hear throughout the day.”

This was the fourth Beauty and the Beast event hosted by the Flashes. Before the match Saturday, both gymnastics and wrestling teams held a 3-0 record in the event.

The Kent State gymnastics team fell to the West Virginia University by a score of 195.950-194.875. At the other end of the gym, No. 1 Oklahoma State University defeated the Kent State’s wrestling team 36-6.

Although both teams finished around the same time Saturday, senior Stephen Suglio of the wrestling team said he remembered the years when the gymnastics team finished first, and its members came over to cheer on the rest of the wrestlers who still had matches.

“When you have two things going on at once, it gives a typical fan the opportunity to watch two things at one time,” wrestling head coach Jim Andrassy said.

The fans were constantly moving their heads back and forth to keep up with both events.

“I’ve never been to an event like this,” sophomore middle childhood education major Alison Bussman said. “I really enjoyed it because there was always something going on, so it never got boring. I would definitely go to an event like this again.”

The gymnastics team performed on the north side of the gym, while the wrestling team was on the south end. Some fans didn’t even know which event to watch.

“I came to watch a few of my friends in gymnastics, but I ended up watching more of the wrestling match,” said Jay Schott Jr., a graduate student. “There was so much going on it was kind of hard to keep up with everything.”

Senior gymnast Jordan Hardison has competed in two Beauty and the Beast events and said it is good because it gives recognition to both sports.

“It’s nice that both sports get a little exposure,” Hardison said. “People get to see what they do and see what we do.”

The young fans not only had a chance to take photos with Beauty and the Beast characters, but they also were able to talk with and get autographs from members of both the wrestling and gymnastics teams.

“It was kind of cool how the kids look up to the athletes,” senior Connor Evans said. “The kids were jumping up and down like the gymnasts were celebrities.”

The gymnastics team travels to Eastern Michigan University for their next meet Feb. 10 to resume their conference schedule, while the wrestling team takes on Eastern Michigan at noon Sunday in the M.A.C. Center.

Samantha Ross is the wrestling reporter, contact her at [email protected]. Scott Lendak is the gymnastics reporter, contact him at [email protected].