Falcons look to upset Kent State for 1st time in 14 years to earn share of regular-season MAC title

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BG Gymnasts come together in a group huddle in a meet earlier this season at Anderson Arena.

The BG gymnastics team will try to ink their name into the record books this Thursday, as the team will try to upend Kent State on the road and get a share of the regular season Mid-American Conference title. BG has not won a MAC championship since 1985.

Kent State is currently 8-3 overall with a 5-0 record in the conference. The Falcons are 7-6 overall with a 4-1 record in the MAC. With a BG win, the team would not only get a MAC title, but beat one of the most profiled gymnastics teams in the conference.

“That’s something we have talked about . . . that it will be a milestone beyond just sharing that regular season title . . . Trying to win at Kent is a tall task, it is not an easy place to win,” said head coach Kerrie Turner. “We are really excited to go in there and just give it our all. We are just trying to focus on putting together a really solid meet and then see where that brings the results.”

Junior gymnast Amanda Lievendag also commented on what it would be like to defeat a team they have not beaten in at least 14 years and to win a share of the MAC title in the process.

“It would be an amazing feeling . . . but we are just going to try and go out there and get the scores that we want. The win will be the result, but it would be absolutely awesome to have the MAC title and beat them,” Lievendag said.

The Falcons have a short week to prepare for the Golden Flashes as they only have four days to get ready for the meet, while Kent has had almost a week to prepare.

Turner said having a short week of practice can be both advantageous and disadvantageous.

“After not having the best meet last weekend you kind of want to get right back out there and makes those corrections,” Turner said. “In some ways it is a good thing. At this point in the year we are really prepared and ready . . . the only disadvantage would be those that are kind of pacing some injuries, they did not get that much time to rest, but they are all so fired up to go in there and try to win.”

BG looks to have one of their best meets of the season, but in order to accomplish this, the Falcons have to stay calm, cool and collected during the meet. This is something they have struggled with in the past.

“I don’t really expect to see them let down on Thursday, but they are going to have to stay in control of the adrenaline and I think a lot of that is the coaches talking to them and making sure that everyone is on the same page when we walk out there about hitting routines,” said Turner.

The gymnasts seem to have their minds set, not really thinking about the win, but how they can improve in order to have a more successful meet.

“We are trying just to focus on the little details and when we get to the meet, we are not going to focus on winning. We are just going to focus on doing our jobs and trying to hit all of our routines and make them as best as possible,” said Amanda Lievendag.

BG looks to take down Kent State this Thursday March 6 at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center and win their first MAC title in nearly 30 years.