Kent State Finishes Second at MAC Gymnastics Championships
Season-best score from Central Michigan tops Golden Flashes
DeKALB, Ill. – The Kent State gymnastics team was unable to dethrone defending Mid-American Conference champions Central Michigan Saturday afternoon at the 2012 MAC Gymnastics Championship, as the Golden Flashes finished second to the Chippewas, 195.675-195.225.
It took a season-best by Central Michigan to edge Kent State, while the Golden Flashes were bolstered by their second-best vault score of the season.
"It was disappointing; even though we were seeded third, we were ready to contend for a championship," said head coach Brice Biggin. "It was a good day, but not a great day; it needed to be a great day."
Junior Rachel Guida (Cumberland, R.I.) had a strong meet to aid Kent State's cause, tying her career-highs in both the vault and uneven bars. Guida scored a 9.850 on the bars to tie for second overall and placed 10th on the vault with a 9.825.
Senior Rachel Goldenberg (Doylestown, Pa.) tied for second overall on the vault with a 9.875.
Sophomore Marie Case (Erie, Pa.) finished second in the all-around competition, with her best effort coming with a tie for fifth on the floor exercise (9.850) to lead Kent State.
The Golden Flashes fell behind early, posting a 48.625 on the uneven bars in the first rotation, which was a strong point for Kent State throughout the season.
After a fall to start on the balance beam for the team's second event, the Golden Flashes rallied and posted a 48.475 on the beam. Junior Lauren Wozniak (Pittsburgh, Pa.) led the way with a 9.775, which tied her career-best and was good for a fifth-place tie.
The Golden Flashes then went right to the floor, where the squad combined for a 48.900. Along with Case's team-best 9.850, Wozniak and Goldenberg tallied 9.800 scores, which tied for 14th overall.
"After our start, it would have been easy to keep our heads down," Biggin said. "But the team did a phenomenal job fighting and did a great job on routines. They fought hard and came back. They certainly did not give up."
Kent State concluded their competition on the vault, turning in a 49.225 – their second-best score of the season. Along with Guida's career-tying best of 9.825, freshman Whitnee Johnson (Columbia, Mo.) hit 9.850 for the fourth time this season.
"We did a great job on vault," Biggin said. "The kids have been vaulting great all season. They didn't have give up in them today."
With their effort on the vault, Kent State took first place heading into the final rotation, a bye for the Golden Flashes, but left Central Michigan on the floor and Western Michigan on the bars. The Chippewas then scored a 49.225 on the floor for the final margin.
Kent State will await the announcement on Monday, March 26, of the field for the 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Championships. Regional action, which will take place April 7, will be at six venues leading to the national championship in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22.