Utah State Gymnastics Flies Past Falcons in Tri-Meet Saturday
Feb. 1, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Season-best scores in three events gave Utah State gymnastics a 195.225 to finish first in a tri-meet against Air Force and Seattle Pacific at the U.S. Air Force Academy Saturday.
The Aggie's total score was the highest the program has seen Feb. 23, 2007 when USU landed a 195.675 against Southern Utah. Additionally, USU crossed the 49.000 barrier on a single event for the second-week in a row, making 2014 the first season with multiple 49-point events since 2005.
Utah State notched a 49.075 on vault, 48.925 on bars, 48.550 on beam and a 48.675 on floor, contributing to the 195.225 total. Air Force finished second with an overall score of 192.875, landing a 48.275 on vault, 48.050 on bars, 47.900 on beam and 48.650 on floor. Seattle Pacific came in third-place with a total score of 190.225, notching a 48.450 on vault, 47.850 on bars, 45.625 on beam and 48.325 on floor.
"It was a really exciting meet. The team had the best energy that they've ever had. They were so positive and didn't let anything bother them. We were able to go through every event without any falls," said head coach Nadalie Walsh. "There are still improvements that this team can make which I'm confident about, because it means this team hasn't hit its peak yet."
Junior Sarah Landes represented the Aggies in the all-around competition, finishing first with a season-best 39.100. She had season-best scores in all but one event, landing a 9.800 on vault, 9.825 on bars, 9.750 on beam and 9.725 on floor.
The Aggies had a strong showing on the event leaderboards, claiming three of the four titles. Sophomore Miranda Kerr tied for first-place on vault with a 9.850, while sophomore McKinzey Martinez claimed the bars win with a 9.850. Freshman Bailey McIntire got her fourth event win of the season, finishing first on floor with a 9.825.
USU opened the meet on bars, led off by junior Kaitlyn Betts with a 9.625. McIntire matched her career-high with a 9.800, followed by season-best performances from Landes and senior Paige Jones who both notched a 9.825. Martinez landed a 9.850, wining the event and finishing the rotation.
The Aggies took their lead early with a season-best bars score of 48.925. Air Force was in second, notching a 48.275 on vault, while Seattle Pacific was in third with a 45.625 on beam.
Utah State then moved to beam for the second event of the night. Junior Susie Miller got things started with a 9.600, followed by freshman Charly Belliston who landed a 9.725. Sophomore Jillian Chappel made her beam debut, notching a 9.675. Landes followed with her 9.750 and freshman Katie Brown set a new career-best with a 9.725. Sophomore Stefanie Daley rounded out the rotation with a 9.675.
At the halfway mark of the competition, the Aggies maintained their lead, notching a season-high 48.550 on beam. Air Force landed a 48.050 on bars for second-place, while Seattle Pacific's 48.325 on floor kept them in third.
Next, USU was on floor, continuing the trend of season-high scores. Miller was up first, matching her personal season-best with a 9.725, followed by redshirt sophomore Breyanna Aufiero who landed a 9.650. Landes and Jones again landed matching scores, this time with a 9.725. Martinez secured a 9.675, while McIntire finished the rotation off with her event-winning 9.825.
The team score of 48.675 was enough to match the season-best set against BYU on Jan. 24 and keep USU in the lead. Air Force notched a 47.900 on beam to stay in second while Seattle Pacific landed a 48.450 on vault for third-place.
The Aggies moved to vault to finish the night. Chappel was up first, notching a 9.775 which would be the low score of the rotation. McIntire set a new career-high with her 9.800, while Brown matched her career-best with a 9.825. Landes and Jones again had matching scores with a 9.800 and Kerr finished strong with her 9.850 to tie for first place.
USU continues its roadswing next weekend, this time staying in Utah. The Aggies will take on in-state rival BYU for the second time in three weeks, Friday, Feb. 7 in Provo. Action from the Smith Fieldhouse will get underway at 7 p.m.
Fans can follow the USU Gymnastics' Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages - Twitter:@USUGymanstics, Facebook: Utah State Gymnastics and Instagram: @USUGymanstics. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.