Gymnastics tumbles past BSU

Doug Gulasy

Sophomore Laci Hendress throws her hand up at the end of her floor routine as teammates cheer her on Friday night at the M.A.C. Center. The gymnastics team defeated Ball State with a score of 194.575-189.350. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State gymnastics team held an autograph session following its meet Friday against Ball State. After the way the team performed during the meet, the event was quite popular.

The Flashes defeated Ball State by a score of 194.575-189.350 to move to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in Mid-American Conference play.

Many gymnasts scored high to lead the Flashes in the meet. Freshmen Brittany Kopp and Lydia Barrett (Vault), sophomore Laci Hendress (floor) and junior Amy Presan (beam) all won first place in various events.

Junior tri-captains Jill Kowalski and Kristin Peters also had strong matches. Peters scored first place on two events, the uneven bars and vault, and second place on a third, beam; and Kowalski won the all-around award for her high scores in four events.

The team began the meet strongly and didn’t look back. As Ball State struggled on the uneven parallel bars, the Flashes had a strong performance on vault with three gymnasts (Kopp, Barrett and Peters) tying for first place.

The Flashes widened their early lead with an impressive showing on bars, as the team took the top five places.

While Kent State struggled on the balance beam in its first meet – a victory over Western Michigan – the gymnasts had no such trouble in this meet, as Flashes gymnasts took the top three places for the event.

The Flashes concluded the meet with a sparkling performance in the floor exercise. Hendress, senior Amy Cucinotta, and Kowalski scored a 9.800 or better in the event to take the top three places again and finish off the victory.

With the victory, the Flashes continued their dominance of the Cardinals in gymnastics. Kent State has now won the last eight meetings with the Cardinals and lead the overall series 25-6.

The team next travels to face Southeast Missouri Saturday for the first of four consecutive away meets for the Flashes.

Contact gymnastics reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].