The Kent State gymnastics team opened the 2014 season with an impressive 194.725-192.375 win over host Southeast Missouri State on Sunday.
"As a coaching staff we couldn't be a lot more pleased with the first performance of the year, especially on the road." Golden Flashes head coach Brice Biggin said. "Everybody came out and did their job today."
Leading the way for the Flashes was senior Marie Case, who took first in the uneven parallel bars (9.825), balance beam (9.750) and the floor exercise (9.800). Junior Nicole Radon and freshman Olivia Trout joined Case in the balance beam as they all tied for first, while Rebecca Osmer tied Case in the uneven parallel bars.
Trout, who tied for first in the balance beam, also took first in the vault with a score of 9.825 and took third in the floor exercise (9.725) in her collegiate first meet.
Junior Amiah Mims placed second in the floor exercise as Kent State finished first, second and third in that routine.
The Flashes return to action Friday, hosting a quad-meet against Eastern Michigan, George Washington and Rutgers at 7 p.m.
TRACK AND FIELD
Kent State kicked off the New Year with a slew of personal-best performances at the Doug Raymond Invitational, held Saturday at the Kent State Field House. The Flashes men's and women's teams each took top honors in eight events on the day.
"This was a very good performance overall coming out of the December break," KSU coach Bill Lawson said. "It was a very low energy meet with not a lot of teams, but it was great to get back in action before next week's Akron Dual on Friday."
The Kent State women's squad defeated Duquesne 78-60.
Joh'vonnie Mosley set two lifetime indoor personal records, in the shot put with a mark of 54-2.0 and the weight throw with a toss of 58-6, to win both events.
Lakie Kent-Allen took first in the triple jump, setting her new personal record with a jump of 37-1.25.
Rebecca Herte set a new personal best in the pole vault, taking first by clearing 12-3.5.
Other first-place finishers for the KSU women were Roseanne Erickson, who cleared 19-3.25 in the long jump; JoAnne Pittman, who took first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.81; Hannah Fleck, who ran the 1,000 meters in 2:57.94; and Erica Hutson, who finished the 400 meters in 57.63.
On the men's side, Cory Miller notched his new personal record in pole vault, taking first with a mark of 16-6.75. Donovan Tolbert took first in the triple jump with a distance of 47-2.25, while Cody Jones won the high jump by clearing 6-10.75.
Jared Fleming set a personal record in the 800 meter run, 1:55.23. The Flashes' 4x400-meter relay team comprised of Wayne Gordon, Miles Dunlap, Andrew O'Leary and Danny Young took home first-place with a time of 3:18.17.
William Barnes took first in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.22, while Riak Reese won the 60 meters in 7.00 and Laron Brown claimed the 200 meters in 21.78.
The Flashes return to the Field House Friday to host Akron at 6 p.m.
Kent State won its first two matches at the Virginia Duals, but fell twice on Saturday and wound up fourth overall.
The Flashes and No. 15 Virginia Tech each won five matches in Saturday's battle for third place, but bonus points made the difference in the Hokies' 19-16 win. Kent State dropped six of 10 matches against No. 13 Virginia to begin the day inside Hampton Coliseum with a 22-12 setback.
Flashes sophomore Mack McGuire and junior Caleb Marsh each went 2-0 on the day, completing perfect 4-0 weekends.
McGuire (133 pounds) provided the team's lone bonus points of the day with an 8-0 major decision over Virginia Tech's Dennis Gustafson. A 4-0 shutout by junior Tyler Small (141) extended the Flashes' lead to 7-3, but the biggest surprise of the day came when KSU sophomore star Ian Miller (157) was pinned in the first period by Sal Mastriani.
The Hokies extended their lead to 16-7 after six bouts, but Marsh ignited a comeback with the first of three straight Kent State wins. Sophomores Sam Wheeler (184) and Cole Baxter (197) each beat Top 25 opponents to tie the dual at 16-16 going into heavyweight.
Tied 1-1 after two periods, a Ty Walz takedown made the difference in a 3-2 win over redshirt freshman Mimmo Lytle.
Earlier in the day, Marsh gave the Flashes a 12-10 lead over Virginia after seven matches with a 3-2 victory over No. 10 Steve Doty. However, the Cavaliers responded with three straight wins. The key moment for Virginia came at 184, when Jon Fausey scored a takedown on Wheeler in the closing seconds for a 6-5 victory.
Sophomore Michael DePalma (149) also claimed a victory against Virginia with a 7-2 decision.
Small accounted for two of the team's five pins Friday, when fifth-seeded Kent State defeated The Citadel 28-12 in the opening round before topping fourth-seeded Bloomsburg 27-12 in the quarterfinals.
Bloomsburg, No. 22 in this week's coaches poll, jumped out to a 3-0 lead before McGuire won a pivotal swing match in overtime over Nick Wilcox. Tied 1-1 after regulation, McGuire got in on a single-leg shot and finished it off for the 3-1 decision in sudden victory.
"Mack lost a close one against (Wilcox) last year, so he knew what to expect," KSU coach Jim Andrassy said. "He just wrestled real solid throughout the entire match."
Small followed with a first-period pin of Matt Rappo, giving the Flashes a 9-3 lead, and the Huskies never recovered.
DePalma jumped out to a lead over Bryce Busler before winning by medical default. Miller then planted Brian Nelson in the second period, giving Kent State a 21-3 advantage. It was Miller's ninth pin of the season.
Marsh and Wheeler each completed 2-0 days with 3-1 and 6-5 decisions against the Huskies, respectively. They also helped the Flashes overcome a 12-9 deficit after six matches against The Citadel.
Marsh started a string of four straight KSU victories with a 4-0 blanking of Terrell Forbes. Wheeler followed with a 15-3 major decision of Ken Radford to give the Flashes a 16-12 lead, then Baxter and Lytle closed out Kent State's first-round win with back-to-back falls.
Kent State star defensive tackle Roosevelt Nix finished with three solo tackles and one tackle for loss at Saturday's inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl, a college football all-star game played in Charleston, S.C. The American team defeated the National team 20-3.
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