Gymastics returns to the nest for meet with Western Michigan



Reporter and Reporter

The Falcon gymnastics team return home after finishing sixth in a six-team meet in Raleigh, N.C. this past Saturday, a result that may not look good for the standings, but will give the team experience for the upcoming Mid-American Conference Championships next month.

The team scored 193.300, a full two points behind the meet’s host and eventual winner, North Carolina State University.

The Falcons will look to improve their scores at the Anderson Arena on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. against the Ball State Cardinals and Eastern Michigan Eagles.

“The Cardinals’ head coach [Nadalie Walsh] is my best friend, I call her after every meet,” head coach Kerrie Beach said.

Because the Falcons already faced the Eagles and beat them 194.025 to 193.900, the meet will only count the Cardinals as a MAC competition.

“The Eagles are just swinging into the mix,” Beach said.

The Cardinals are coming off of their first MAC loss to the Western Michigan Broncos, but Beach knows that the Ball State team is still competitive.

“We are out of their realm, and we are not going to go in feeling comfortable,” Beach said. “They have done well against other MAC teams scoring around 194 to 195’s.”

The Falcons are excited to have a meet back in their own gym.

“We get to start on vault and use our equipment.” Beach said.

She said that the team will look to have competitive practices throughout the week in the gym to prepare the team for this weekend.

“I want our athletes to start out strong, not have to find momentum during the competition,” Beach said.

Beach hopes that Amanda Lievendag will be able to compete this week, as the sophomore had to miss last week’s meet due to flu symptoms.

The falcons will continue to look for strong routines from Jamilah Ali, Megan Harrington, Gina Locigno and Alyssa Nocella — all-around gymnasts on Saturday, meaning they participated in all four events: balance beam, uneven bars, floor exercise, and vault — who together scored 154.275 of the 193.300 points the Falcons acquired.

“It is hard to be the top six in all events,” Beach said. “Each routine is very difficult; it is rare to have this many all-arounders competing.”

Megan Harrington, recently awarded BG’s Pizza Hut Athlete of the Week, finished with an all-around score of 39.000, her career high.

“Megan has upgraded her routine, adding more value to her routine and has gained a lot of confidence,” said Beach.

Beach said that it is rare to have so many gymnasts perform in every event.

“It is hard to be the top six in all events,” she said. “Each routine is very difficult; it is rare to have this many all-arounders competing.”