Senior gymnasts end careers in M.A.C. by defeating Ball State

Matt Lofgren

Three Kent State senior gymnasts finished their careers at the M.A.C. Center with a win Sunday by edging out Ball State 195.950-194.525.

For seniors Christine Abou-Mitri and Christina Lenny, Sunday’s match was more than just one game on the schedule: It was the last time they would compete at the place they’ve called home for the past four years.

Senior Danielle Durbin is a transfer from Eastern Michigan who was celebrated as a Golden Flash for the past two years.

“She (Durbin) took some time to get used to our program and what we wanted to accomplished,” said Brice Biggin, Kent State coach. “She’s been a kid that when you look at heart and soul, she has come so far.

“As for Christine Abou-Mitri and Christina Lenny, they have really raised the level of talent in here. They are the glue that holds this team together.”

Freshman Marie Case won the all-around category by posting a 39.300 by winning the balance beam and floor exercise. Case also tied for third place on the uneven bars.

“We definitely did our best today, but there’s always room for improvement,” Case said. “Clearly, we can see that in our gymnastics today, so it only gives us more encouragement to keep going and keep pushing ourselves.”

The Flashes started strong on the vault with a team score of 48.900 to jump out to an early lead over the Cardinals.

Senior Christina Lenny led the team in the event with a score of 9.90. Ball State struggled to match the Flashes and posted a 48.600.

The Flashes continued with their best event, the uneven bars. Kent State ranks No. 15 nationally in the event.

Sophomore Lindsay Runyan, leads the team in average score in the event and is ranked No. 8 in the nation.

The Flashes out-performed the Cardinals 49.225-to-48.725 to strengthen the team’s grip of the overall score from 98.125 to 97.325.

The Flashes had a slight drop off in scoring on the beams by suffering a couple of mishaps.

With a team score of 48.775, Abou-Mitri lifted the Flashes with her 9.800 showing and Case led the team by posting a 9.875.

An unfortunate scare occurred on the floor routine as junior Brianna Skiffington had to be carried off. As she was nearing the end of her set, Skiffington stuck the landing awkwardly and went down immediately. Skiffington would get off the floor on crutches.

“She (Skiffington) is going to get X-rays tomorrow and we’re really hoping the X-rays come out negative,” Biggin said. “We’re thinking it’s just sprains on both ankles.”

Going into the floor exercise, the Flashes held a 146.9-146.1 lead. The team got a lift from Lenny and Case, who both scored a 9.850 to capture the win for the Flashes.

Senior captain Abou-Mitri reflected on her last performance in front of the home crowd for the last time.

“Obviously it’s emotional, last home meet in front of the crowd, but we have a job to do,” Abou-Mitri said. “You can’t over work, you can’t over delay you have to just go out like it’s any other meet, but it is special cause it’s our last time at the M.A.C. Center.”

Contact Matt Lofgren at [email protected].