Gymnasts squeak past Central Michigan

Katie Corbut

Barrett paces team in three events

It came down to the team’s beam performances against Central Michigan, but the Kent State gymnasts prevailed in the meet’s final round of competition, gutting out a 194.250-193.925 win Saturday in Rose Arena.

With the pressure riding on the Flashes (4-2, 2-0) late in the meet, Kent State coach Brice Biggin said the Flashes remained determined to finish off their Mid-American Conference rival.

“There was some major intensity in the air,” Biggin said. “It was good to see the girls step up and perform in that environment and come out on top.”

The dual meet opened on bars, where senior Lydia Barrett tied Central Michigan senior Katie Simon for first place with a score of 9.875 — Barrett’s highest mark of the season.

Barrett would tie Simon again on the vault, with both competitors earning a 9.825. Freshman Lauren Wozniak finished in third place with a 9.8.

Barrett led Kent State on the floor competition as well, tying Simon a third time with a 9.85, good for second place. Following just behind her was junior Christine Abou-Mitri (9.825).

Biggin said he was pleased with Barrett’s performance, stating it was one of her best meets as a senior and as a captain.

With three events complete, Kent State’s fate would be determined on the beam, which the gymnasts had trouble with in several of the team’s recent meets.

After struggling with her floor routine, freshman Sarah Moore was pulled aside by Biggin.

“I told her that beam was her opportunity to right her wrong,” Biggin said. “It was her turn to step up and do something positive.”

Moore rose to the occasion, tying Abou-Mitri for second place (9.725). Junior Christina Lenny finished just behind her teammates with a 9.7.

“Abou and Lenny did a phenomenal job finishing off the meet,” Biggin said. “Had one of them fallen, we would have lost the meet. Certainly both hit all four events, doing what they needed to do to win meets.”

The one-two punch of Lenny and Abou-Mitri, respectively, commanded the all-around competition. Lenny finished first with a score of 38.975 and Abou-Mitri trailed by only five one-hundredths of a point, earning her second place (38.925).

Biggin said this meet was a turnaround performance for his team.

“The one thing we talked about was in order to win that meet, it would take a team effort,” he said. “When you want to win championships, it takes an entire team and takes everyone working together. It certainly came down to that.”

Contact sports reporter Katie

Corbut at [email protected].