Kent State Gymnastics looks forward to NCAA Ann Arbor Regional Saturday

Tyler Goddard

No. 24 Kent State will compete in the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional Saturday to determine national qualifiers. The regional has six teams, with Stanford holding the No. 1 seed. The Golden Flashes are the No. 6 seed for the regional. Other teams include No. 2 seed Michigan, No. 3 seed Ohio State, No. 4 seed Iowa State and No. 5 seed Minnesota.

The top two team scores from the region will qualify for spots in the NCAA Gymnastics Championships to be held in Cleveland. Head coach Brice Biggin said the team was able to take away a few positives from the MAC Championship meet that could help them this week.

“We took away that we still need to be a little more confident, and even though we made routines, we need to be more aggressive on beam, and we need to be more aggressive on floor,” Biggin said.

Biggin said this week of practice has been short because they have been in the gym all season. “Now it’s as much of a mental game, and physically, a lot of these kids are tired,” he said. “So we want to try and make practices a little bit easier because everyone at this point in the season is tired and they’re sore and they’re beat up and hurt.”

Biggin said it’s tough to say what a good qualifying team score would be because nobody knows what judging will be like.

“More importantly, we know that if we want a chance of being in the top two, we need to go out and really hit 23 out of 24 routines,” he said.

Biggin stressed that it’s important to go out and simply focus on the team’s routines and not worry about what other teams are doing.

The Flashes also have a few gymnasts with hopes of qualifying individually for Nationals. Senior Christina Lenny and freshman Marie Case will look to qualify for the all-around.

Sophomore Lindsay Runyan on the uneven bars can qualify with a good score, and Biggin said to watch out for Christine Abou-Mitri on the balance beam as well.

“She has really looked good the last few weeks,” Biggin said.

Lenny said she was happy with her performance at the MAC Championship and needs to carry over the same confidence and focus. She said it’s hard to pinpoint a score range that could qualify her for Nationals.

“It’s all about placement, so it all depends on how judges are scoring and how I do compared to how other girls do, so it’s really hard to say what a good score would be,” Lenny said. “Anything can happen the day of the meet, and we really need to just stay focused and work together as a team, and I think if we just do that then we would definitely have a shot.”

The NCAA Ann Arbor Regional is Saturday at 6 p.m.

Contact Tyler Goddard at [email protected].