Gymnastics team looks to keep perfect record

Kali Price

Senior April Zentko competes in the uneven bars Jan. 16 against West Virginia. The gymnastics team competes against Norman, Oklahoma today.

Credit: Andrew popik

Kent State gymnastics will take on No. 5 ranked Oklahoma (4-0) tonight in Norman, Oklahoma. The second meet for the Flashes is Oklahoma’s home opener.

Coming off of a close victory against West Virginia on Sunday, the Flashes will again look toward seniors April Zentko and Erika Linnersten to lead the squad.

“April Zentko and Erika Linnersten are kids that we know are good competitors,” coach Brice Biggin said.

Kent State has the advantage of being undefeated, but there is much room for improvement, Biggin said. Central Michigan (No. 21), Bowling Green (No. 29) and Ball State (No. 36) each currently rank above the Flashes, who currently sit at No. 42 with a 190.875 team overall average.

The Flashes haven’t scored that low in their first meet since opening the 2000 season with a 188.350 score in the Mizzou Gymnastics X-Treme meet.

Despite the low team score on Sunday, Zentko walked away with the top all-around score and currently ranks 64th in the all-around rankings.

Even though Zentko and Linnersten are expected to lead the Flashes to another win, the team’s eight freshmen will have to be more consistent, Biggin said. In Sunday’s meet, Biggin said he believed that the freshmen held back and needed to be consistent in doing their routines.

The meet will prove to be a tough match. Oklahoma boasts the third ranked gymnast for the national all-around rankings, Erin LaBarr. LaBarr was also named the Big 12 Gymnast of the Week. Oklahoma is ranked fifth in the nation after two meets.

Like the Flashes, Oklahoma also has eight freshmen this season. Both teams will look for leadership from their upperclassmen tonight at 8 p.m.

Contact gymnastics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].