Gymnastics fall for first time despite their highest score of season

Rachel+DeCavitch+swoops+through+the+air+on+the+uneven+bars+during+the+gymnastics+meet+on+Jan.+28%2C+2022.

Matthew Brown

Rachel DeCavitch swoops through the air on the uneven bars during the gymnastics meet on Jan. 28, 2022.

The Kent State gymnastics team posted its highest score of the season but lost for the first time Sunday at the George Washington Quad.

The Flashes placed second with a score of 195.600. GW won the meet with 196.025. Eastern Michigan placed third with 195.200 and Long Island University fourth with 193.575. 

KSU’s score was .050 higher than its previous best, set last week against Cornell and Rutgers.

George Washington, which had been struggling with COVID-19, scored 1.2 above its previous high.

“I can’t be much prouder of the team,” coach Brice Biggin said. “There’s times where you win and lose meets, and sure that’s important. But for us, the way we competed and the toughness in which we competed reflects that we earned every chance we got. We don’t like to lose, but hats off to George Washington.”

“We know we gave away some tenth points that normally we don’t. It’s still a matter of working on some of the little things.”

Kent State is now 7-1 overall and 2-0 in the Mid-American Conference.

Freshman Alyssa Guns had KSU’s highest scores, along with junior Rachel DeCavitch on bars, with 9.875 on both the vault and floor routines. She placed second on vault and tied for first on floor.

“Her presence as a freshman is just really fun to watch, and it certainly is exciting for the future,” Biggin said. “The job she did on floor and vault was just unbelievable.”

Guns also took first on floor last week in her first collegiate meet with a 9.975, the highest score in any event in the MAC since 2019. 

KSU placed second to GW on both vault and floor.

The floor routine has been KSU’s highest scoring event in each meet this season.

“We really need our floor routines to go out there and perform at that level,” Biggin said. “It takes a lot of practice, and we take practice really seriously. They need to put the same effort, intensity and focus into practice exactly like how they compete, and they’ve done a really good job with that.”

KSU took third on beam, its first event of the meet, with senior Cami Klein scoring highest for Kent with 9.800.

Senior Samantha Henry, the Flashes’ lead-off performer on beam, started with a 9.725. Biggin said Henry’s performance was her strongest of the season.

“Sam Henry did the best routine she’s done in over a year, but it’s just so difficult because the judges aren’t going to throw a huge score for that first routine,” Biggin said. “She did her job, and I told her I was really proud of her because it is hard to start a meet on beam.”

Biggin said his team’s lead-off competitors for each event need to come out stronger to ensure a win. 

“We need to start off a bit higher on all of our events with our lead-off performer,” Biggin said. “They set the stage for the rest of the group.”

Kent State took second on the uneven bars with 49.075 to Eastern Michigan’s 49.100. 

DeCavitch, who placed second in the all-around, tied for third on bars with EMU’s Raisa Boris, scoring 9.875.

KSU competes against Ursinus, Iowa and Rutgers, whom the Flashes beat in their last meet, Friday at 7 p.m. in New Jersey. 

Isabella Schreck is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected]