Gymnastics scores 10.0 against SEMO

Doug Gulasy

The 18th-ranked Kent State gymnastics team was undertaking its biggest test this season when it traveled to face Southeast Missouri Saturday afternoon.

Not only was Saturday’s meet the first away meet of the season for the Flashes, but Southeast Missouri, with a record of 5-0 and ranked 29th in the country, was arguably the team’s toughest opponent so far.

However, the Flashes passed the test with flying colors, as they defeated the Redhawks 194.100-193.150, moving to 3-0 on the season.

The 0.950 margin of victory was the closest of the season for the Flashes, which had won their first two meets with relative ease.

The Flashes had a solid team effort to win the meet. Sophomore Laci Hendress (floor), junior Amy Presan (beam), junior tri-captain Kristin Peters (bars) and senior Amy Cucinotta took home first-place finishes in events.

Junior tri-captain Jill Kowalski once again had a strong performance, winning the all-around score for the third straight meet.

The Flashes began the meet on the uneven bars, an event they had dominated in their first two meets. Although Peters placed first in the event for the third consecutive meet, Southeast Missouri scored higher overall to hand the Flashes their first event loss of the season.

Later, the Redhawks’ struggles on vault allowed the Flashes to win the event and take the lead. Freshmen Brittany Kopp and Lydia Barrett took second and third place, respectively.

Next, the team took its slim lead to the floor exercise. Hendress and Cucinotta tied for first place and Kowalski scored third place to retain the Flashes’ lead.

The last event of the day for the Flashes was the balance beam, where they had another strong performance. Presan took first place and Kowalski and Peters finished in a tie for second to help the team win the event and the meet.

The Flashes will put their undefeated record to the test once more this Saturday, with a meet against Wilson College, Penn State and West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va.

Contact gymnastics reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].