Falcons gymnastics looks to improve on bars

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BG Gymnast does her flip on the balance beam in their home meet against Central Michigan on Feb.,  9. They are currently ranked in the top 36 in the country.

Grant Crawford and Grant Crawford

The BG gymnastics team posted its best score in almost a decade last weekend with a 195.550 against 19th-ranked Central Michigan.

The Falcons will take the stage again in College Park, Md. this weekend to face both Maryland and Yale in a three-team meet.

The Falcons have reached the halfway point of the season with 5-4 overall with a 3-1 record in Mid-American Conference, and a third place standing in the MAC behind Central Michigan and Kent State.

“I tell them if they can go 24 for 24 routines solid that is a 196 for us,” said head coach Kerrie Turner. “They know it so it is trying to get them to put it together more than once in this last half of the season trying to get several of those scores those high 195’s and 196’s happening so that we can go to the post season.”

The Falcons need to improve on the uneven bars, which they struggled with against Central Michigan, resulting in their worst apparatus of the four in the meet.

“I coach bars so I feel really responsible for that being our weaker event of the weekend,” said Turner. “I sat down and made a list for each athlete of some of the areas where I thought they were just not putting it together in the competition and then added that into their assignments.”

The Falcons look to avenge a loss against Maryland back in the 2011-2012 season and top their score from last week.

“I think, looking at the scores coming into the meet, we’re favored, we’re ahead of them in the rankings and we have had a higher team score so a lot of our expectations are just building on what we just did the 195.550, and trying to top that every week,” said Turner.

With the help of a tough schedule, the Falcons are more than prepared to face a 4-3 Maryland team and a 1-3 Yale team as they continue to get better as the season goes on.

“I think going against harder teams it is really good for us to see where the competition is for regionals,” said Amanda Lievendag. “We have to get in the top 36 in the country to qualify so and I think it is really good for our RQS because when we are against better teams our scores tend to be a lot better.”

For two of the Falcons, Katrina Carpenter and Lievendag, they will be in familiar territory as they head back to their home state in Maryland for this week’s competition.

“It’s gonna be fun. I am really excited to go back and get to see a lot of people from home so I will have a lot of family there and it will be a really good experience,” said Lievendag.

BG looks to remain in the top 36 this weekend to remain in contention for a NCAA regional championship spot. The meet will be Saturday Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. in the Comcast Center.