Flashes vault to season opening victory over West Virginia despite lack of team member experience

Kali Price


In front of a sea of intense fans full of blue and gold, Kent State women’s gymnastics held their season opener Sunday afternoon. Claiming victory, the Flashes outperformed West Virginia.

The Flashes won the meet, 190.875-190.60 over the Mountaineers.

The Flashes still have a way to go, despite earning a victory in the season’s first meet, said Kent State coach Brice Biggin. Unlike last season’s squad, the Flashes are a young team, with only four returning seniors and eight new freshmen.

 “This team is so different. We’re very young. Last year was a pretty veteran team, and this year isn’t,” Biggin said. “Our upperclassmen, April Zentko and Erika Linnersten, those two kids both did what we needed them to do. They hit routines.”

Of the Flashes’ eight newcomers, Biggin was particularly impressed with Kristin Peters’ performance.

“She went out there and made the routines she was supposed to, and we were very pleased with the way she went out and competed under pressure.”

 With so many new players on the Flashes’ roster, Biggin said the team will need leadership from his senior class. He got it when the Flashes needed it Sunday.

Seniors Zentko and Linnersten led the Flashes with the team’s highest all-around results. Zentko won the all-around title with a score of 38.525. Linnersten helped the Flashes to the victory with a score of 9.825 on the uneven parallel bars and finished in the top four in vault and balance beam.

Biggin hopes that Zentko and Linnersten will continue to lead the Flashes this season and continue to score high in every meet.

The Flashes also competed Sunday without injured senior Earline Feugill. Biggin is looking to Feugill as well to help the team succeed this season.

“We’re looking for Earline Feugill to be a huge impact when she gets back from her injury. She’s a veteran that knows how to compete,” Biggin said.

Biggin also said he hopes that the team can continue to come together and become an athletically stronger team. The Flashes are trying to improve their intensity in practice in order to make competition easier, Biggin said.

The Flashes will try to perfect their performance Friday night at Oklahoma.

Contact gymnastics reporter Kali Price at [email protected].