The Kent State gymnastics team has spent the week preparing for what Coach Brice Biggin calls “a bittersweet ending” for the team’s four seniors.
Seniors Erin Rothrock, Rachel Goldenberg, Brianna Skiffington, Jaimee Caldwell and the rest of the Flashes will take on Cornell Sunday at 1 p.m. to close out the regular season.
Skiffington said the seniors will try to control their emotions and try not to approach the meet any differently.
“I’m just really excited,” Skiffington said. “I want to go out strong, especially before the MAC Championships. I think our team can go out there and do what we’ve been doing for the past few weekends.”
Biggin said despite an exceptional team performance last week against Bowling Green, the team has not showed any sign of complacency. He said the team confidence is high and there is no doubt they can perform.
“This is a time when one meet doesn’t make a season, and believe me, they understand that,” Biggin said. “The good thing is, it looked so easy for them last week. They went out there confidant and we expect to see the same from them this week.”
Biggin said he expects Cornell to come in hungry for a good score.
“It’s their last meet too, so I certainly expect them to be at their best,” Biggin said. “I expect them to go out and hit routines. We try to focus on ourselves, but we need to make sure we execute.”
Since the final meet has special meaning for the seniors, Biggin said the focus will be on them this weekend.
“This group has seen a lot of success, and you want them to go out on a high note,” Biggin said. “We tell the rest of the team to focus on the seniors on Sunday and making sure their experience has been a great one.”
Rothrock said because the team still has the Mid-American Conference meet and regionals to look forward to, the seniors are trying not to look at the meet as their last.
“It’s our last hurrah here,” Rothrock said. “We’re trying not to look too far into it and just go out there and do what we did last week.”
Biggin said this group of seniors has been classified by their growth. He said the group came in and didn’t contribute much their freshman year, but have become more consistent and grown into their roles.
“I can honestly say that each one of them is about at the top of their game right now,” Biggin said. “That’s really what you want to see from your senior class.”
Rothrock said that while she has been performing at the M.A.C. Center for so long, she has made personal relationships a lot of the fans.
“I’m definitely going to miss it,” Rothrock said. “It’s an experience I will remember forever.”
Contact Erica Mucci at [email protected]