Flashes finish third against ranked squads at WVU quad

Kali Price

Kent State gymnastics placed third of four teams at West Virginia yesterday with its lowest score since its loss at Oklahoma.

In a non-conference meet, the Flashes (8-4, 4-1 Mid-American Conference) scored 193.72 points against three top 30 teams in yesterday’s meet.

“This is the type of meet you want to have before a MAC tournament,” Kent State coach Brice Biggin said.

Biggin said the meet should help to prepare the Flashes because of the level of competition.

No. 20 Auburn (5-9) won the meet with a score of 194.9, followed by No. 30 West Virginia’s 194.6 score. No. 23 Michigan State (15-7) finished fourth with a 193.675 score.

Although this was not the team’s lowest score of the season, the Flashes have not scored below 194.3 points since the Jan. 28 victory over Ball State.

“The scoring was very different (at this meet),” Biggin said. “Scores have been so inconsistent this year.”

The Flashes opened the 2005 season with a 190.875-190.525 win over West Virginia (8-4). While the Flashes won that meet by 0.35 points, the Flashes lost to the Mountaineers by a 0.88 point difference.

The Flashes won one event and only placed in the top five spots twice.

Biggin said that he was mostly disappointed with the team’s beam performance.

“We had two falls,” Biggin said. “I didn’t feel like we went out there and attacked the beam. We had two seniors that did awesome. We were very excited about that.”

Senior Erika Linnersten took the top spot on balance beam, scoring 9.875. She has now taken the beam title four straight times and five overall this season. Linnersten also tied for third with a 9.775 score on the uneven bars.

The Flashes had its only other top five score with senior April Zentko’s 9.85 beam routine. Zentko tied for second place in that event.

Junior Carrie Mayle, the Flashes only all-around competitor, took seventh place in the all-around with a 38.825 score.

As if the Flashes haven’t faced West Virginia enough, they have another opportunity to defeat the Mountaineers at the Eastern Michigan Invite on Saturday.

“It is, once again, a real big meet,” Biggin said. “We want another crack at them.”

Contact gymnastics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].