Gymnasts continue streak, win MAC regular season title

Lily Flynn

The No. 17 Kent State gymnastics team continued a victorious stretch last weekend against Ball State with a record of six consecutive victories so far this season and their highest overall score of the season (196.250). Going into the Eagle Invitational quad-meet, the team continued to remain focused, driven, and motivated to remain on top, and they did, placing first in the meet.

“Although we’re a little disappointed with the score, we are extremely proud of our girls,” Flashes head coach Brice Biggin said. “To go 7-0 in the [Mid-American Conference] is no easy feat. These girls are working as a team, a whole unit and they really want this.”

The team defeated conference member Eastern Michigan, and non-conference members Air Force and Alaska-Anchorage with an overall score of 195.275, keeping them undefeated in the MAC with a 7-0 record. The record has also already won them the regular season conference championship.

“It feels great to win,” sophomore gymnast Amiah Mims said. “It is a good confidence boost for the team [going into regionals].”

Once again placing first in the All Around, sophomore Whitnee Johnson helped lead the team to another victory, continuing an 11-meet win streak. Her highest score of the night came on the vault, with a total of 9.850. Her second highest score was on the floor exercise, where she scored a 9.800. On both the uneven bars and the balance beam, Johnson scored a 9.700.

Senior Rachel Guida took control on the uneven bars, posting a 9.875, a score that tied with freshmen Katlin Isaacs and Nicolle Eastman. Isaacs and Eastman also posted a 9.875 on the floor exercise.

The team earned an overall 49.100 on the vault, which left them just shy of the season high 49.200. Guida posted a 9.825 in the event, helping boost the team’s score.

Biggin remains confident in the team’s ability to succeed, especially on the road to regionals.

“I think it is important to note that as long as I have been a coach, I don’t think I’ve ever had a team that didn’t record a fall on the road,” Biggin said. That’s something you don’t see often. A lot of times teams will enter a gym on the road and have difficulties in everything from crowd, to equipment, to just a different attitude and it can throw them off, but not these girls. They are some of the hardest working gymnasts out there and they have goal they plan to achieve.”

The Flashes will return home to host a quad-meet at 7 p.m. Friday. The meet will consist of the Flashes, Southeast Missouri State, New Hampshire and Cornell, and will be the team’s final meet of the regular season.

Contact Lily Flynn at [email protected].