Gymnastics seeks to continue momentum from lost season


Sophomore Riley Danielson does a split in mid-air on the balance beam at the annual pink meet against Bowling Green, the College at Rockport and Ursinus College at the M.A.C. Center on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020.

Sean Blevins Sports reporter

A few weeks ago, the Kent State gymnastics team practiced with only two of its 22 players due to so many players being quarantined for short periods of time because of contact tracing. 

The team has not been able to practice together once all offseason because their practice facility was shut down for several weeks and multiple players have been quarantined at the same time, due to possible exposure to COVID-19. Despite that, many players are working hard to stay in shape and not get rusty. 

Senior Abby Fletcher said the players who are not able to practice with the team work out at least twice a week by themselves. 

“All the circumstances we have gone through have shown the true character of our team,” Fletcher said. “We weren’t able to practice together as a team all offseason, so some of us had to make it work by practicing by ourselves.” 

The Flashes were 12-3 before last season was cancelled in March. They had two matches left before the Mid-American Conference championships, which they were expected to do really well in. 

“It’s a huge disappointment that we weren’t able to finish last season, but we are ready to pick up right where we left off,” Fletcher said. 

Fletcher won two individual titles last season and five during her sophomore year. She was second on the team last year in total points for floor and beam. She won the MAC floor title her freshman year. 

Coach Brice Biggin said it has been challenging establishing a rhythm in practice when a few players have been forced to quarantine multiple times over the past few months because of contact tracing. He declined to say if any players tested positive for the coronavirus. 

“We just want to completely get back to normalcy,” Biggin said. 

He said some players have been out of the gym more than in the gym and that has had a huge impact on how prepared they are. 

Rachel DeCavitch was named MAC freshman of the year for the 2020 season and was on the all-MAC second team. She won nine individual titles and five all-around titles. She led the team in total points with 349.8. She posted the second highest all-around score in the conference with a 39.400.  

Biggin said he was thrilled when Jade Brown announced that she was coming back for her fifth season with the program. She won two individual floor titles last season and led the team in total floor points. Biggin said she is a great leader and a mentor to the underclassmen. 

He said he was “amazed by the glimpses he has seen” from freshman vaulter Kyndall Gilbert in the practices she has been able to go to, but she has been quarantined multiple times over the past few months. 

“If we are healthy, I think we have the depth to win the conference,” Biggin said. He said he believes the vault squad is the strongest unit on the team and they will carry them far. He added that this is one of the youngest, but most talented teams he has had over the years. 

The team has not released a schedule yet for the upcoming winter season.

Sean Blevins is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].


Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.