Flashes fall short in Pink Meet

Scott Lendak

Kent State President Beverly Warren received undivided attention from both Kent State and Central Michigan University fans before Sunday’s PINK Meet.

“I remember when this gymnastics team painted ‘Bev Strong’ on the rock in front of campus,” Warren said as she addressed the issue of breast cancer to the crowd.  “That picture hangs in my living room and I make sure to look at it every day.”

The Flashes fell to Central Michigan 195.775-195.675, the second-straight meet where the Flashes received over a 195.500 and lost.

“I told the team I was very happy with them,” coach Brice Biggin said.  “I think we’ve come a long way and are doing a good job.  We’re not making any major mistakes and that’s a plus.”

Despite the loss, Jordan Hardison was also pleased with the team’s performance.

“We really stayed within ourselves today,” senior Jordan Hardison said.  “It was a tough loss, but we are doing better as a team, so we just have to keep pushing it until the tournament.”

The Flashes started off on vault and were outscored by Central Michigan, 48.975-48.925.  Junior Rachel Stypinksi and Hardison tied for second place with 9.850, while junior Brooke Timko scored 9.775 and finished sixth. The 48.925 was good enough for the Flashes’ second best vault score on the year.

Timko scored 9.750 or higher in her third straight meet.

“I hurt my shoulder two years and got hurt again last year doing vault,” Timko said.  “I would fight until they’d let me practice and they didn’t until people started getting hurt.  I have that heart and just love competing.  It feels great to do it again.”

The next event was the uneven bars where CMU edged out the Flashes 49.150-49.050.  Stypinski placed third, while Timko and sophomore Dara Williams tied for fourth.  The Flashes improved their score from 48.550 against Eastern Michigan.

“We worked real hard in practice this week,” Biggin said. “They know they’re capable of having good bar routines, but we still need to do a better job of sticking dismounts.”

Kent State and Central Michigan both received their team’s lowest scores on beam, leading to the Flashes winning the event 48.550-48.425.

Sophomore Kennedy Plude came in third place with a 9.775, while sophomore Sarah Lippowitsch and junior Ali Marrero tied for fifth place with 9.725.

“I was pretty happy with our beam routines, but I was confused with some of the scores because I thought our routines were a little better,” Biggin said.  “It happens for both teams and it’s not something you can cry about.”

The Flashes finished the meet on the floor exercise and fell to Central Michigan 49.225-49.150.  Stypinski placed first in the event with a 9.925. Hardison, senior Skyelee Lamano and freshman Jade Brown tied for fifth with 9.825.

Biggin said that Brown changed the momentum of the meet.

“Jade has shown up big time the past two meets on floor,” Biggin said.  “Hopefully she can continue to work because she’s capable up putting up huge scores like that.”

Stypinski won the all-around 38.925-38.400 against Central Michigan’s Gianna Plaksa.

“We have to do a better job of bar and beam dismounts,” Biggin said.  “If we do that I think we will once again be a tough team to beat.”

The Flashes will travel for their tri-meet against North Carolina State University and George Washington University this Saturday.

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