Falcon gymnasts set to take on MAC

Chris Sojka and Chris Sojka

A smile can go a long way. As the gymnastics team heads into the Mid-American Conference Championships in Muncie, Ind. tomorrow, coach Kerrie Beach has been working with the team on performance value which includes smiling and making eye contact with the judges throughout their routines. While every aspect of the MAC Championships is important, the Falcons (5-10, 2-4 MAC) have been working hard in practice all week on attacking their routines and staying confident. ‘The one thing we cannot do is compete scared or timidly,’ Beach said. ‘We have improved our scores and difficulty [in events] greatly over last season, and I would like our team to go out and show these judges just how good we are.’ Over spring break, the Falcons showed the judges just how good they can be when they came in second of four at the Texas Women’s meet, scoring a 193.375 as a team-their second best of the season-and recording a 48 or better in each event for the first time this season. After training in a different environment and different time zone, staying in a hotel and eating dinner out all week, the team was definitely out of their usual routine. But even with the challenges they faced, Beach was very pleased with the team’s overall performance. ‘The team really did a fantastic job adjusting to everything,’ she said. ‘It was so exciting to see the team really put every event together, and it’s even more exciting to know we have more in us and there is still more we can do better.’ Getting better is exactly what BG is trying to do. On vault, the team is working on harder vaults, looking to raise their score. On bars, they are focusing on hitting every handstand and sticking their landings. The balance beam has become very consistent over the past several weeks, so they are looking to be aggressive and stick every skill. Floor-which was a challenging event for the team in the beginning of the season-has turned into a very strong event. To do well on the floor, flawless tumbling is key. The Falcons will look to take everything they have worked on this season, especially the past week, into the MAC Championships where they finished seventh last season. ‘The MAC Championships are a meet any team can win, and we really go into it with that attitude,’ Beach said. ‘It will take hitting every event and really showing our most aggressive routines.’