The Kent State gymnastics team closed out the regular season with an emphatic win over a struggling Bowling Green State University team. 

The Flashes posted their second-highest score of the season, as they coasted to a 196.050-193.950 victory over the Falcons, who finished their season with a 1-10 (0-6 Mid-American Conference) record. 

“I am really happy for the team today,” coach Brice Biggin said. “We came out determined. We were a little bit off on vaults. We did really well on floor and bars.”

KSU ended its season with a 5-7 (2-4 MAC) record, but Biggin said that was not reflective of the effort and the work the players have put in throughout the course of the pandemic. 

“We are thrilled to be able to get through the season,” Biggin said. “A lot of our kids were not able to practice from March until August because of COVID shutdowns. We are so thankful to the university for working so hard to give us this opportunity.” 

In mid-December, before the season started, there were numerous players going in-and-out of quarantine due to positive cases and subsequent contact tracing. The team had to shut down practices multiple times. One week, they only had two of their 22 gymnasts at practice. Players that were forced to quarantine were doing personal workouts at home to do their best to try and stay in shape. The team has come a long way since then.

The Flashes started off the evening with a season-high 49.250 on bars. Sophomore Rachel DeCavitch had a career-high 9.900 and tied for first. Senior Jade Brown and sophomore Karlie Franz tied for third with a 9.875. 

The Flashes’ floor lineup scored an impressive 49.375. DeCavitch and senior Toshi Richard tied for first with a 9.900. 

On vault, Franz and fellow sophomore Olivia Amodei tied for first with a score of 9.800. 

DeCavitch came in second in the all-around competition, but had her best score of the season with a 39.225. 

“Toshi Richard had a great floor routine, again,” Biggin said. “Jade Brown was good. Olivia Amodei had a great meet. [Franz] had a great meet, it’s great to get her back after she missed last week with a foot issue, but she was back stronger than ever and gave us a boost on a couple of events.”

KSU will compete in the MAC championships on Saturday, March 20, at 2 p.m., in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After the MAC Championships, Kent State will wait to see which regional site they will travel to the following week. The top 36 teams qualify for regionals and the Flashes are currently ranked at 27.  

Sean is a sports reporter. Contact him at sblevin4@kent.edu.

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