Beam costs BG

Bowling Green gymnastics coach Dan Connelly hopes this will be the low point for his team this season.

‘This was, by far, the weakest performance so far this year,’ he said following the Falcons’ third-place finish in the All-Ohio Championships yesterday at Anderson Arena. ‘I am pretty positive this won’t happen on a regular basis.’

BG scored 191.175, behind Kent State’s 193.150 and champion Ohio State’s 195.575. The uneven bars and balance beam proved to be the major stumbling blocks in the Falcons’ bid to repeat as All-Ohio Champions. They won the meet last year in Columbus.

On the bars, BG suffered critical dents to their overall score when senior Heather Dankmyer and freshman Melissa Popovich both fell during their routine. Sophomore Ann Marie Kassouf also made a mistake at the end of her bars routine, and the Falcons netted a score of 47.175 for the event. They still were in second place after their turn on the bars, the halfway point of the meet, with a cumulative score of 96.025. The balance beam, however, put BG in third place.

Dankmyer and junior Mindy Untch both scored over a 9.6 for the event, but the other four Falcon gymnasts in the event failed to score above a 9.225. BG netted a score of 46.950 on the beam, while the Golden Flashes scored 48.750 and the Buckeyes scored 48.700.

The Falcons held their own in the floor exercise and vault, finishing within a full point of the winner in both, but it was not enough to counterbalance their score in the other two events.

Individually, Ohio State’s Lindsey Vagedes won the floor title with a score of 9.900, Kent State’s Jill Mackey placed second at 9.850, and senior Cristin McClellan was BG’s highest place at third, scoring 9.800.

On the beam, the Golden Flashes’ Jenny Eckel won the title with a score of 9.825. BG’s highest finisher was Untch, who placed sixth at 9.750. On the bars, the Buckeyes’ Mary Beth Doerr won with a 9.875 score and BG’s Marny Oestreng was second at 9.850. On the vault, Vadegas and Jill Tucker, also from Ohio State, tied for the title at 9.950, and Oestreng won third place at 9.925.

In the All-Around, the Buckeyes’ Sarah Spring won with a cumulative score of 39.000. Eckel placed second with a score of 38.975, and Oestreng was BG’s highest overall placer with a score of 38.750.

‘In this sport, it is very difficult to bounce back after a big weekend, like the weekend we had last weekend,’ Connelly said. ‘We had two really good meets in three days…and you just go on a low after that, an emotional low.’

BG vaulter Katie Carter saw a decline in the team’s performance after a positive start.

‘We started out good on vault, and then bars kind of went downhill, one fall after another, and then we went to the beam and it happened all over again,’ she said.