Setting goals helps gymnast bring success to team

Tyler Goddard

“With the help of freshman Marie Case, the Kent State gymnastics team has been consistently ranked nationally this season.

The Flashes, who are currently ranked No. 21 in the country, have been helped by the arrival of Case, who is ranked as the No. 1 freshman gymnast in the country and No. 20 overall gymnast.

Case said working hard in practices is helping her try to reach the goals that she has set for herself.

“I strive for being MAC Freshman of the Year and qualifying for Nationals,” Case said about her goals.

Kent State (9-2, 3-1 MAC) vs. Ball State (5-7, 3-1 MAC)

The meet is Sunday at 1 p.m. at the MAC Center

It’s Senior Day and Gold Out/Greek Day

Tom Ward, Kent State assistant coach, said her mental focus and physical talents have allowed her to succeed so early in her career.

“That’s a unique combination and when you have both of those, that’s something a lot of gymnasts don’t have,” Ward said. “Usually they have one or the other, but she has both.

“We knew she was one of the top recruits in the country, and she came in and has done everything we hoped for and probably even more.”

Case said goal setting has helped her achieve success, but also the team’s drive of wanting to do well at regionals, qualify for nationals and win the MAC.

Senior Christina Lenny and Case have developed a friendly rivalry throughout this season in attempt to reach the teams goals.

Women’s gymnastics

Looking Ahead

  • March 12 @ E. Michigan
  • March 19 in Mount Pleasant, MI for MAC Championship
  • April 15-17 Kent State hosts the National Championships at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland

“When she’s having a good day, and I see it, I really want to get up and be on her level and consistent like her,” Lenny said.

Kent State coach Brice Biggin said the separating factor between Case and other freshmen is that she wasn’t nervous coming in, and she hasn’t needed much of a learning curve.

“Since the day Marie stepped in, we just saw that she’s a little bit different as far as her level of intensity, and the level of focus she brings in and her determination,” Biggin said. “That’s a rare person that comes in and does that right off the bat like that.”

Although being the No. 1 freshman in the country is exciting, Case said she would be just as happy with herself either way.

Case has already posted several high scores in her young career.

She set a new personal best in the all-around this past weekend against Western Michigan with a 39.425. Her other personal bests this season include a 9.850 (vault), a 9.875 (uneven bars), a 9.900 (balance beam) and a 9.925 (floor exercise).

“Hopefully I can be MAC Freshman of the Year,” Case said. “I want to be a captain either next year or my junior year, and I want to prove it to the team.”

Contact Tyler Goddard at [email protected].