Gymnastics Radiates with 196.400 in Win Over Bowling Green
Twelve individual season/career bests are broken or tied in best team score since 2009 campaign
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State gymnastics team capped the Mid-American Conference regular season with an exclamation point Sunday afternoon, as the Golden Flashes defeated Bowling Green 196.400-193.525 at the M.A.C. Center in the conference finale for Kent State.
The team's electric 196.400 team score was the best since the 2009 campaign, when the Flashes scored its fifth-best team score in program history with a 196.750 against Western Michigan.
The Golden Flashes combined to set or break seven career-bests and five season marks on the day, including five of the team's six scores on the floor exercise for the meet finale.
"On days like today, it really is a total team effort," said head coach Brice Biggin. "We can't go 196 without each kid doing their jobs. I was very pleased with the entire team."
Kent State got rolling on the vault, when junior Lauren Wozniak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) led the way with a 9.900 to tie her career high she set last week at No. 14 Ohio State. The Golden Flashes combined for a 49.100 on their opening event, good for a one-point gap through the first rotation.
The team's momentum continued on the uneven bars. As the team's second gymnast in the rotation, senior Jaimee Caldwell (Blue Ash, Ohio) turned in her best performance of her career with a 9.850 to tie for second overall. Teammate junior Lindsay Runyan (Maineville, Ohio) led the way with a season-best 9.900, while senior Erin Rothrock (York, Pa.) added a 9.850.
Kent State scored a 49.125 on the bars, the team's best score on the event this season.
The Golden Flashes further pulled away on the balance beam, as sophomore Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) had a season-best of 9.875 to lead the charge. Freshman Whitnee Johnson (Columbia, Mo.) added a career-high 9.825 for second place, while senior Brianna Skiffington (Lumberton, N.J.) had a season-best 9.750.
But it was the team's 49.300 on the floor that catapulted Kent State to its convincing victory – which was the best team score on the floor in three seasons. For the second time this season, senior Rachel Goldenberg (Doylestown, Pa.) scored a 9.900 on the floor to match her career-best and give her a third floor victory this season.
Case tied her season-high with a 9.875 to tie for second, while Wozniak had a career-best for the second straight outing (9.875). Johnson and freshman Nicole Radon (Hamburg, N.Y.) also eclipsed career-bests, while classmate Amiah Mims (Indianapolis, Ind.) placed sixth with a 9.800.
Kent State's Case won the all-around with a 39.225, marking her fourth straight meet where she has surpassed thee 39.000 mark.
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The Golden Flashes will conclude the 2012 regular season Sunday, March 18, when Kent State hosts Cornell at the M.A.C. Center for a 1 p.m. meet.