Flashes earn high scores in win

Kali Price

Gymnastics keeps winning streak alive with season-high score

Erika Linnersten took first place with a 9.95 score on the balance beam in the M.A.C. Center Friday. The Flashes beat Western Michigan and Rhode Island.

Credit: Kali Price

A night of personal bests, a season-high score and a victory graced Kent State gymnastics Friday night.

With a season-high score of 195.4, the Flashes defeated Mid-American Conference foe Western Michigan (5-7, 2-4 MAC) 194.1 and Rhode Island (3-6) 192.325.

The Flashes won every event but the balance beam. On the beam, the Flashes trailed by only .15 point to Western Michigan, 48.775-48.625.

Beginning the meet on vault, junior Carrie Mayle took first place and a career-high scoring 9.875. Senior Erika Linnersten tied her career-high score of 9.8 and placed second.

Linnersten also tied another career-high in her second routine on the uneven bars with 9.9, winning first place. Adding to her success of the night, Linnersten reclaimed her top spot on the balance beam by scoring 9.95.

The Flashes (4-1, 3-0 MAC) dominated the floor exercise. Topping Western Michigan 49.4-48.825, all six of the Flashes placed above Western Michigan and Rhode Island. Sophomore Amy Cucinotta took the top spot and tied her career-high score of 9.925. Freshmen Phylicia Robertson and Alyssa Zambryckij also achieved career-high scores. Robertson placed second with a 9.9, followed by Zambryckij’s 9.875 score.

Mayle took the first place all-around score for the second consecutive week. Mayle tied her career-best all-around score with a 39.225. Mayle also achieved a personal best score on vault, scoring 9.875.

“She’s a kid who’s got a lot of experience, as a junior she has competed and has done well throughout her career,” said coach Brice Biggin. “She’s probably a kid that we need to look to with her talent as a leader. She’s doing what she knows she needs to, just as far as making routines and being real aggressive and being real confident for the rest of the team.”

Since Jan. 28, the Flashes have won three straight meets and haven’t scored lower than 194.3. Mayle said that the team’s success is because of the way they have has grown in recent weeks.

“I think with all the hard stuff that we’ve gone through, we’ve gone through lots of injuries and with the death of Sarah (Positano), we’ve pulled together as a team,” Mayle said. “Everyone’s stepped up and took on their own role. I think that just as a team we’ve come together and that’s why everyone’s been so successful.”

The Flashes also welcomed the return of seniors April Zentko and Earline Feugill. Feugill scored 9.8 and tied for second place on vault.

Zentko competed a week earlier than expected on the balance beam as an exhibition routine. Exhibition routines do not count to the team’s overall score.

“She wanted to (compete) today; until now, she just hasn’t been able to,” Biggin said. “She’s just really started doing her skills full out, I gave her a little bit of support on her dismount today because that’s still bothering her a little bit. We wanted give her a little more experience in exhibition so that hopefully next week, she should be ready to go.”

The Flashes host MAC rival Central Michigan this Friday night at 7. The meet is the biggest of the season, Mayle said.

Contact gymnastics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].