Gymnastics Travels to Ypsilanti for MAC Championships


YPSILANTI, Mich. – The Kent State gymnastics team travels to Eastern Michigan on Saturday, to face off with all seven Mid-American Conference schools in the 2022 MAC Championship.

The Golden Flashes find themselves riding high after their best meet of the season on Sunday, when they posted an overall score of 196.850, the team’s third-highest score ever and its highest since 2004. This gave Kent State the victory in the regular season finale over Western Michigan, who posted a score of 196,725. Going into the meet, the Flashes and Broncos were neck-and-neck in the fight for first place in the MAC. But with Kent State’s victory, they earned a share of the Regular Season MAC Championship with Western Michigan.

In that meet, Kent State put up its highest floor total of the season and fifth-highest ever at 49,550. Helping the Flashes reach this milestone was freshman Alyssa Guns, whose 9,950 mark on floor was first met in the meet. Junior Karlie Franz posted a score of 9,925 on the event as well.

Sophore Sarah Haxton finished first in the meet on bars with a score of 9.875. The Flashes were able to win that event with a total score of 49,250. Kent State also performed very well on the balance beam, the event on which they’ve probably shown the most improvement since the season began. Kent State won the beam against Western Michigan, 49,200 to 49,125, with senior Cami Klein finishing first in the meet on the event with a score of 9,925, a new personal record for the senior.

In the all-around category, junior Rachel DeCavitch finished tied for first with a score of 39,300.

Furthermore, the aforementioned five gymnasts – DeCavitch, Franz, Guns, Haxton, and Klein – were all named Second Team All-MAC on Friday.

Kent State enters Saturday with an NQS of 196,055, good enough for 38th in the nation. In order to advance to regionals, the Golden Flashes will need to bump that ranking up to 36th on Saturday, with a combination of an excellent performance on their part and subpar performances by the teams ahead of them in the standings. One of those teams standing between Kent State and regionals is Western Michigan, who currently possesses an NQS of 196,150 and holds that elusive 36th national ranking.

But it’s not just the Broncos that Kent State will have to worry about. Although already out of consideration for regionals due to their NQS of 195,915, two spots away from the Flashes in the national rankings in the other direction sit the Central Michigan Chippewas. CMU always competes well against KSU, and the dual meet between the two teams this season wasn’t any different, with the Chippewas coming out on top over the Flashes, 196,650-195,075. A strong showing by Central Michigan on Saturday could stand as an obstacle between the Flashes and regionals.

After that, the final four MAC teams are ranked as follows: NIU is 47th with an NQS of 195,475, Ball State is 48th with an NQS of 195,410, MAC Championship host Eastern Michigan is 52nd with an NQS of 194,695, and Bowling Green rounds out the MAC with a national ranking of 56th and NQS of 194,245. Kent State has found varying levels of success against all of these teams this season.

But at the end of the day, all that matters and the only aspect of the meet that Kent State can truly control is how they perform themselves. Preparation is key, and with a head coach as tenured as Brice Bigginthe Flashes will surely be prepared for competition on Saturday.

The stage is set, and the Flashes are poised to put an exclamation mark at the end of this terrific 2022 season. And if you want to follow along at home as the Kent State gymnastics team strives for glory on Saturday, be sure to check Twitter and Instagram for news and updates, as well as kentstatesports.com.

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