Mistakes earn gymnastics team second loss

One of the Flashes gymnasts swings on the un-even bars on January 21. Photo by Adrianne Bastas

One of the Flashes’ gymnasts swings on the un-even bars on January 21. Photo by Adrianne Bastas

Erica Mucci

Gymnastics coach Brice Biggin says his Flashes must learn to take the positive things they’re doing in practice and apply them when it really matters—in meets.

“Some of the girls get out there and let their emotions get the best of them,” Biggin said.

The Kent State gymnastics team fell to conference rival Central Michigan Saturday 194.475 to 193.550. This win is the Chippewas’ 26th straight win against MAC opponents.

Through the first two rotations the Flashes were well within striking distance as they executed some solid routines on both the vault and bars.

Freshman Whitnee Johnson topped the vault competition with a 9.850, and senior Rachel Goldenberg tied for second.

Junior Rachel Guida and senior Erin Rochrock posted matching 9.800 scores on bars. That score earned them a tie for second place in the event, but was not enough to push the Flashes ahead.

“Some girls gave some good routines in those first two rotations,” Biggin said. “We felt we were still within reach, but we know we would have to go out and execute.”

Execute is something the Flashes did not do.

“Things changed a little bit when we got to the floor,” Biggin said.

He said major mistakes by two gymnasts caused the Flashes to begin to slip farther from gaining the lead.

“We just couldn’t fully get the momentum,” Biggin said.

The Flashes, trailing 145.825 to 145.700, headed into the final rotation and two Kent State falls on the balance beam were enough to allow Central Michigan to secure the win.

Biggin said the balance beam has been distressing the Flashes this season. He said although the team is showing improvement on the apparatus in practice, the time spent is simply not enough.

“It takes more than a couple good weeks of practice on the beam to get it right,” Biggin said. “We just need to keep plugging away.”

Next week, the Flashes return home to take on Northern Illinois for the annual Flip for the Cure breast cancer fundraiser.

“Hopefully we can get back on track next week in front of a home crowd that will be cheering us on,” Biggin said. “The girls will feel a little more in their element.”

Contact Erica Mucci at [email protected].