Gymnastics team in search of second MAC Championship

Tyler Goddard

The No.23 Kent State gymnastics team will travel to Central Michigan Saturday in hopes of capturing the Mid-American Conference gymnastics Championship.

Senior Christine Abou-Mitri said the team is more ready, and “we are finally at the point where its like this is the meet of the year.”

“We’ve been more upbeat,” she said. “I feel like everyone’s coming together and cheering more and just holding each other more accountable on skills that are messed up.”

The Flashes still face uncertainty on the availability of Brianna Skiffington, who injured her ankles in the team’s win over Ball State on March 6.

“She’s working really hard to get back in on beam,” Kent State coach Brice Biggin said. “It’s probably going to be a day-by-day decision and probably come down to how she does Friday and how she warms up on Saturday.”

Biggin said Skiffington is doing everything she can to compete, but if not Jaimee Caldwell will replace her on balance beam.

“We feel like we are still OK,” he said. “We are in a good place, but I certainly know Bri would love to get back in just to help out the team.”

Depending how the ankle heals, Biggin said Skiffington will definitely be out on the floor exercise for MAC Championship’s, and she could miss competing on the floor exercise at regionals too.

Senior Christina Lenny said the team has been excited all week in practice, and the intensity level has been high as well.

Lenny said the team is trying to treat it at like any other meet.

“We are trying not to look at is as MAC Championships,” she said. “Its just another meet, and we need to do this for ourselves and really focus on our team and how we are doing and not really pay attention to everything else.”

Biggin said the team needs to avoid coming out tight as he felt they did against Eastern Michigan last week.

“It looked like there was a little bit of uncertainty in some eyes, and I still don’t think they fed off of each other enough and didn’t work well enough as a team,” he said.

He said to win this meet, the team needs to concern themselves with just themselves and compete as a team.

“If it comes down to if neither team falls, its going to be a tenth of a point here-or-there so every little thing each person does really is going to help determine the champion at the end of the day,” Biggin said.

Kent State (11-2-1, 5-1 MAC) is currently No.1 heading into the MAC Championship Saturday.

The meet begins at 2 p.m.

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