Senior gymnasts reflect on final competition

Tyler Goddard

The No. 20 Kent State gymnastics team concluded its home season Sunday with a win against Ball State.

“It definitely hit us at the end of the meet when the juniors came up to us and just said they loved us.” -Danielle Durbin

It was the final time seniors Christina Lenny, Christine Abou-Mitri and Danielle Durbin competed in front of a M.A.C. Center home crowd.

Abou-Mitri said everything sunk in after she finished her floor exercise event.

“I realized that was the last time I was ever going to step foot in there and compete so I cried,” she said. “All the emotions I felt of being a senior and it being the last year all hit me right then and there.”

Durbin said she didn’t feel any different, and it was just like any other meet.

“It definitely hit us at the end of the meet when the juniors came up to us and just said they loved us,” she said.

Durbin said her fondest memory of performing at the M.A.C. Center would be how loud the crowd gets.

“There’s nothing like performing at the M.A.C.,” Durbin said.

Lenny said she tried not to think about how it was her last meet at home because she loves competing at the M.A.C. Center.

“The meet didn’t go exactly how I wanted because I fell on beam, but overall I think the meet went very well for myself as well as the team,” Lenny said. “It was nice ending on a really good note.”

Kent State coach Brice Biggin said he and the coaches spoke to the whole team before the meet about the importance of sending the seniors out on a good note.

“They’ve [the seniors] spent a lot of hours and have really been instrumental in a lot of the success of this team, and it’s a special day for them, and it’s an emotional day for them,” he said.

“It was the team’s opportunity to really pick them up and show them what they’ve meant to the program.”

With the home schedule behind them, the Flashes are looking to continue to achieve goals they have set.

Abou-Mitri said her first goal is to try to win a Mid-American Conference Championship for the team and to place in the top two as a team at regionals.

Lenny said winning the MAC Championship would be a great sendoff for her senior year and be great for the team as well.

“Hopefully becoming the first team in Kent State history to make it to nationals,” Lenny said. “I would love to make it nationals individually. That has been a goal of mine all season and something that I have been thinking about so that would definitely be a great ending to my senior year.”

Reflecting back on her home career, Abou-Mitri said the thing she will remember most is “looking out into the crowd and seeing people you know.”

“It makes you feel safe and just having the support of people that are familiar to you,” she said.

Before the Flashes get a chance to compete for the MAC Championship, they will travel to Eastern Michigan for the final meet of the regular season Saturday.

Contact Tyler Goddard at [email protected].