Gymnastics splits meets

Kali Price

Senior Erika Linnersten performs on the uneven bars during Kent State’s loss against Central Michigan Friday night at the M.A.C. Center.

Credit: Kali Price

The Kent State gymnastics team’s double-meet weekend ended with a loss and a win.

The Flashes fell to their Mid-American Conference rival Central Michigan Friday night, 196.05-195.5. After losing by 0.55 points, the Flashes (6-2, 3-1 MAC) came back to claim victory over Southeast Missouri State, 195.3-193.025.

“We performed at the best of our potential, and we performed as well as we wanted to and as well as we could have expected,” senior Erika Linnersten said. “It was unfortunate that we lost to Central Michigan and we lost a MAC meet, but we couldn’t have done any better as a team. We hit our routines, and we did what we wanted to do.”

Coach Brice Biggin said that he felt the team still performed well.

“We lost to a good team. You can’t be disappointed when you go out there and perform well and lose to a good team,” he said. “We don’t like losing. I think they started believing in themselves a bit more, when they stayed with Central that’s ranked 17th in the country and we looked every bit as good when you’re 0.55 away from that kind of team. I think you grow a little bit and you gain some confidence.”

Despite Friday’s loss, the Flashes still placed in every event.

The only event where the Flashes took the top score was the floor exercise. Freshman Phylicia Robertson, sophomore Amy Cucinotta and top Central Michigan gymnast, senior Kara Reighard, tied for first in that event with a 9.9 score.

Robertson’s 9.9 floor exercise tied her personal best on Friday. But Robertson topped that score yesterday with a 9.925 and tied for first place with Cucinotta.

“I think my confidence has gone way up,” Robertson said.

Biggin agreed with Robertson.

“She’s understood that there’s a different level of commitment in college than in a private club,” Biggin said. “We knew all along what kind of talent she has, but talent doesn’t do everything for you. You have to really work at this level if you want to be one of the best kids and she’s learned how to work.”

Other than on the floor exercise, the Flashes dominated Southeast Missouri in every other event, taking at least the two top spots.

Junior Carrie Mayle scored first on vault with a 9.8 and also tied her career-high on the floor exercise. Mayle came in third place with a score of 9.9.

Sunday’s win was the last home meet for the Flashes until the All-Ohio meet on March 19.

After Friday’s disappointing loss, the Flashes are excited for the next three meets on the road.

“Basically that’s a battle and the war’s not over yet,” Biggin said. “There’s still some fighting left to be done. This is a team that I certainly do not expect to go down without a major fight.”

Contact gymnastics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].