Flashes gear up for MAC Championships

Kali Price

Kristin Peters performs on the uneven bars during a meet earlier this season. The gymnastics team competes against Ohio State and Bowling Green at 6 p.m. tomorrow at the M.A.C. Center.

Credit: Kali Price

While other students are enjoying spring break, the women of the Kent State gymnastics team will be busy practicing and competing.

But to them, it is not a big deal at all.

The team leaves Wednesday afternoon for the MAC Championships, and they plan to practice up until that point, senior Earline Feugill said.

“We need to work on our consistency,” Feugill said. “That’s been our main goal.”

But before the No. 24 Flashes travel to DeKalb, Ill. for the MAC Championships, the Flashes compete in their final home meet against Bowling Green and Ohio State tomorrow at 6 p.m.

Seniors April Zentko and Lauren Wheatley added the team also needs to work on backing each other up in order to win.

This year’s MAC Tournament will present the Flashes (8-7, 4-2 MAC) with an opportunity to get back at Central Michigan. The Chippewas have won the championship the last three years and beat Kent State earlier this year.

The Flashes’ four seniors have not beaten the No. 15 Central Michigan in their tenure at Kent State. The Flashes also have not beaten Central Michigan (10-5, 7-0 MAC) since the MAC Championships in 2001.

The MAC Championships have traditionally been a battle between the Flashes and Central Michigan. Of the 19 MAC Championships, the Flashes and Central Michigan combined have won 17 of those meets.

At last season’s championship meet, the Flashes placed second and Central Michigan won the title.

“Central took first, but it was so back and forth the whole time,” senior Erika Linnersten said.

Feb. 18, the Flashes hosted Central Michigan and posted their highest score of the season, but lost 196.050-195.5.

The loss has motivated the Flashes for the MAC Championships — and a rematch with Central Michigan.

“We’re winning this time,” Linnersten said. “It made us more excited than anything.”

Central Michigan leads the Flashes in the MAC standings by an average of 1.111 points.

The Flashes do have one more chance to improve their MAC record tomorrow against Bowling Green. In their last matchup with Bowling Green, the Flashes won 194.3-194.075. Bowling Green is ranked third in the MAC and 39th nationally.

After tomorrow’s meet, the Flashes will be preparing to take on Central Michigan and the rest of the MAC.

“We have nothing to lose,” Feugill said. “We’re good at being the underdogs.”

Contact gymnastics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].