Another weekend, another gymnastics win

Marcus Barkley

Gymnastics beat season highs while remaining undefeated at the M.A.C.

The Kent State gymnasts proved that a short practice week after a convincing win did nothing to stop their momentum, as they cruised to victory against George Washington University Friday night.

“We were actually a little concerned because we only had three fairly easy days of practice,” coach Brice Biggin said. “You’re always a little concerned about how (the team is) going to do, but obviously, once the meet started, they came to play.”

The Flashes (6-1) defeated the Colonials (6-6) 195.600-193.125, breaking the season-high mark of 195.150 set last week at the All-Ohio. Assistant coach Kurt Hettinger was impressed with the level of play the team produced against George Washington.

“The meet today was amazing,” Hettinger said. “(The team) has hit three meets in a row, and that’s the kind of performance we know these girls are capable of.”

Senior Jill Kowalski tied her career best of 9.825 for a second-place finish on floor and toppled her career high on beam to lock in a third-place finish with a score of 9.825. Senior Amy Presan tied her career best on beam as well, netting a second-place finish with a score of 9.85. Junior Amanda St. John tied her career best of 9.8 on floor and finished third in the event. Freshman Christine Abou-Mitri also set a new career high with a 9.8 on vault, a score good enough for third place in the event.

Assistant coach Sharon Sabin credited the impressive scores all-around to a continued commitment to improve as the season progresses.

“This is a team that, week in and week out, they’re going to do their best,” Sabin said. “They keep getting better week-by-week, and that’s what we want to see.”

Among all of the top performances and personal bests, the Flashes’ two top performers this season, senior Kristin Peters and freshman Christina Lenny, continued their dominance, each scoring victories in two events.

“Those two are doing a great job,” Biggin said. “It is a team effort where the other kids help to set them up, and they’ve just gone out and finished off the events for us.”

Peters captured first place finishes in both the uneven bars and the beam. Her 9.925 on beam tied a career best and also demolished the previous season-high score of 9.8. Her 9.9 on bars, an event that she continues to lead the conference in, also topped her previous career best and blew away the previous team high of 9.850 that she had set earlier in the year.

“I can’t say enough great things about Kristin Peters,” Hettinger said. “That kid is on every day in the gym. She is a good student, great to work with and is a great leader for this team.”

Lenny continued her success on the vault, winning the event for the fifth straight time with a career-best mark of 9.925. She also won the floor routine for the second straight meet in a row with a score of 9.850.

“Christina Lenny, being a freshman, had a great high school career, and we don’t know what her limit is,” Sabin said. “She’s really doing her job for her team right now.”

In all three victorious events, the Flashes set season-high marks, including an event season high of 49.175 on beam, an event that had haunted the Flashes earlier in the season.

“We keep going out and bettering our scores, which is what you would like to see from the girls,” Biggin said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the scores today.”

Contact gymnastics reporter Marcus Barkley at [email protected].