A balancing act

Kali Price

Junior Carrie Mayle discusses her strengths as Kent State’s top all-around gymnast

Credit: Andrew popik

Seniors usually shine on the mats, but that doesn’t mean a junior can’t.

Junior gymnast Carrie Mayle has been the top all-around gymnast for the Flashes in the 2005 season.

Mayle has won three all-around titles this season. In the Feb. 11 victory over Western Michigan and Rhode Island, Mayle tied her career-high all-around score of 39.225.

Mayle also has won four vault titles this season. Aside from the titles just this season, Mayle has been named the Mid-American Conference Co-Gymnast of the week twice.

Because senior April Zentko’s injury has kept her from competing as an all-around gymnast, Mayle has been the only all-around gymnast for the Flashes this season.

In addition to the senior’s injury, much has changed for Mayle and the Flashes this season.

“Last season we had a lot of upperclassmen,” Mayle said. “Our lineups now are people that didn’t compete last year. The main difference this year is trying to work and get them to adapt to college competition.”

Now that Mayle is an upperclassman, her role has significantly changed.

The role of the team’s upperclassmen is to lead the team and to teach the underclassmen.

“I know that us upperclassmen try to lead with example,” Mayle said, “and prove what it takes in the gym and in competition for them just to look up to us.”

Being the only all-around gymnast isn’t her sole role on the team — Mayle’s the team’s only junior. Therefore, Mayle will be the team’s only senior next season.

“At first, I thought it was going to be really hard,” Mayle said, “but now I don’t think it’s going to be that bad. Next year I’ll have all the underclassmen that are going to back me up, and I have all the juniors to back me up and the coaches. So, I don’t think it’s going to be that big of a deal.”

Mayle said that she is optimistic for the rest of this season and the next.

“I think every year you just grow stronger,” Mayle said, “and you grow more aware of what it takes to be successful.”

Now that Mayle is more than aware of what it takes to be successful, she looks forward to the upcoming MAC championships and the 2006 season.

Mayle and the rest of the Flashes head to the Eastern Michigan Invite tomorrow at 7.

Contact gymnastics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].