Kent State gymnasts break losing streak against Penn State

Lily Flynn

Kent State’s women’s gymnastics team accomplished something it had never done before Saturday in University Park, Pa.

The Flashes finally defeated Penn State.

“Our first time ever beating Penn State being at Penn State is a tremendous accomplishment,” Flashes coach Brice Biggin said. “ The team finally broke through. It says a lot about their character.”

The University of Minnesota placed first, scoring a 195.525, followed closely behind by second place Kent State, which scored a 195.450. Penn State took third place, scoring a 194.300, while Towson University placed fourth with a score of 192.175.

“We don’t watch what is going on with other’s teams,” Biggin said. “We want to be focused on what we do. Minnesota is a very good team. Towson is usually a pretty good team too. Overall, I’d say we had a good meet.”

A standout performance in all four events by Kent State’s Amiah Mims helped bolster the scores for the Flashes against the competing teams.

Mims, a sophomore originally scheduled to compete in only the floor and bars events, stood in for teammate Lauren Wozniak, who bruised her ankle in practice prior to the competition.

“It took me out of my comfort level,” Mims said, “and the nerves kicked in really quick. But my coaches and teammates helped calm me down.”

Mims continued her impeccable performance, grabbing the second place score of 9.800 on the uneven bars, a 9.750 on the balance beam, a 9.750 on the vault and a 9.775 on the floor exercise. Her personal record-breaking scores placed her third in the all-around with a score of 39.075.

Junior Marie Case also helped push the team’s score upward, posting a third-place score of 9.875 on the balance beam, a 9.675 on the uneven bars, a 9.650 on the vault and a 9.825 on the floor exercise. Her high scores led to her finishing in fourth place in the all around with a score of 39.025.

While not achieving first place in the meet, falling less than a tenth of a point behind the University of Minnesota, the team is ready to move forward.

“We’re disappointed by losing by only a tenth of a point,” Biggin said. “But on the other hand, we couldn’t be more happy because our girls came out here and did a great job. They didn’t back down.”

The team will face Western Michigan and George Washington University at 7 p.m. Friday in their first home meet of the season, one that the team is anxiously awaiting.

“We’ve had three meets already,” Mims said. “We’re ready for our friends and family to finally see what we’ve been working on.”

Contact Lily Flynn at [email protected].