Kent State gymnastics looks forward to home meet

Elise Kogelnik

Fans travel all over the country to see the Kent State gymnastics team (2-1, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) compete, but the gymnasts say nothing compares to a home crowd.

With gymnasts from several states, there seems to be a little bit of home everywhere the Flashes go. Senior Kayla Kosmerl said senior Nicolle Eastman’s family brought 30 people to last weekend’s meet in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The team also had fans when they traveled to Utah State University, thanks to teammate and Utah native junior Skyelee Lamano.

Even with such dedicated fans, the Flashes agree that home meets are their favorite.

 “(Hearing everyone in the stands) reminds me of home because I hear the little girls (from the gym) cheering for me, and when I watch my videos, I hear them cheering,” sophomore Brooke Timko said. “My dad also (goes to meets). I can hear him yell ‘come on, Brooke.’ And then you don’t hear him again because he gets too nervous to watch.”

Sophomore Ali Marrero said her family is traveling from New York to see her compete on Sunday.

 “I think we learned (at the last meet) to keep the noise up,” Marrero said. “I’m looking forward to the home meet and environment. Everyone is much louder.”

 Head coach Brice Biggin has noticed that the team feels more relaxed at home.

 “Our nemesis has been competing on the road,” Biggin said. “We just have not performed with the same confidence that we have at home. Obviously we’re looking forward to being able to get back to our gym, our crowd, our facility, because we really feel like the girls do a great job here.”

One of the team’s goals is to win the regular season championship, and to do that Biggin said the team needs to beat everyone at home and away.

Kent State will host Northern Illinois University and George Washington University at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the M.A.C. Center.

 The Flashes lost to Northern Illinois for the first time in 16 years on the road last season. Coach Biggin said they are looking forward to competing with them alongside the Colonials, who have been long-time supporters of Kent State gymnastics.

“We get along with (George Washington University) really well,” Biggin said. “They’re a really good team and we tend to have really good meets with them. They love coming here.”

Elise Kogelnik is the gymnastic reporter for the Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].