Feb. 17, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Boosted by three event titles in addition to the all-around win, Utah State gymnastics earned its first dual victory and first Western Athletic Conference win of the season with a 193.875-193.400 win over Sacramento State Friday night at a spirited Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
USU hosted Alumni Night Friday, honoring Utah State University alums, as well as Aggie gymnastics alums in a post-meet presentation of flowers to the five former gymnasts and one former assistant coach. Former gymnasts Lyndsie Boone (2008-11), Kathy Elliott (1973-76), Nicki Felley-Jackson (2006-09), Amanda Jenkins (2001), Devin Markle (2007-08) were honored, as well as former assistant coach Ben Nilson (2004-07).
Friday was also USU's final meet of its four-meet homestand, and the Aggies' second-to-last home meet of the season.
The Aggies collected three individual event titles Friday night as senior Rebecca Holliday won the beam with a 9.825 for her third-straight event win, while freshman Kaitlyn Betts collected the first win of her Aggie career with a 9.825 to nab top honors on bars. Fellow freshman Sarah Landes shared the floor crown with Sacramento State's Kailey Hansen with 9.850's each and also won the all-around with a 39.050 for her fourth all-around score in a row of 39.000 or higher.
USU's final score of 193.875 was its third-highest this season, as the Aggies notched a 48.125 on vault, 48.925 on bars, 48.000 on beam and 48.825 on floor. The 48.825 on floor was a season-high while the 48.925 on bars was USU's second-best bars score this season after last week's season-high 49.350, and the 48.000 on beam was the third-highest of the year.
Sacramento State had a sliver-thin 145.075-145.050 lead after three rotations, but the Aggies overtook them with their 48.825 on floor while the Hornets had a 48.325 on beam. Sac State also had a 48.575 on vault, a 47.625 on bars, the aforementioned 48.325 on beam and 48.875 on floor for its final score of 193.400.
Emiko Ono won the vault with a 9.775, just ahead of teammate Hansen and USU sophomore Paige Jones, who tied for second with 9.750's each. Jones also tied for second on bars with Sac State's Nicole Meiller, both with 9.800's. Landes was second on beam with a 9.775. Junior Amelia Montoya notched a career-high on floor with a 9.825 to collect third. Montoya was facing her sister, Maddie, who is a sophomore for the Hornets and their parents and another sister were in the stands.
With the win, USU is 3-6 on the year and 1-2 in WAC action while Sac State fell to 4-6 overall and 0-3 in conference competition.
Utah State opened on vault with junior Amanda Watamaniuk leading off with a 9.050, followed by a 9.525 from Holliday. Landes notched a 9.700, preceding a 9.750 from Jones and then freshman Breyanna Aufiero stuck a career-high 9.575. That gave the Aggies a 48.125 on bars and they led after one rotation as the Hornets notched a 47.625 after a judge's inquiry score change.
Watamaniuk also started things off for Utah State on bars, registering a 9.775, mirrored by Montoya. Holliday posted a 9.50 before Jones recorded a 9.725 and then Landes posted a 9.800 and then freshman Kaitlyn Betts edged that with a 9.825.
At the meet's midway point, Utah State had a 97.050-96.200 lead after Sacramento State scored a 48.575 on vault.
Freshman Ashley Follet led off USU's beam rotation with a 9.05, followed by redshirt-freshman Samantha Wagner with a 9.600, her highest official score after posting a 9.750 in an exhibition performance last week. After a 9.625 by senior Haley Hogan, classmate Holliday posted a 9.825, then Landes notched a 9.775 before Miller posted a 9.175 to close out rotation. That gave USU a 48.000 on beam, its third-best mark on the event this season. Sac State scored a 48.875 on floor and took a sliver-thin 145.075-145.050 lead heading into the fourth and final rotation.
Just like their first two rotations, the Aggies were started by Watamaniuk on floor, posting a 9.725. Holliday followed with a 9.625, before a 9.100 by Miller. Montoya then notched a career-high 9.825. Landes then followed by tying her career-best with a 9.850. Jones then sealed USU's win with a 9.800, giving the Aggies their season-high 48.825 on floor and clinched their first WAC win and dual victory of the season.
USU hits the road for the first time in over a month, heading to Provo, Utah on Saturday, Feb. 25 for a tri-meet hosted by BYU with Southern Utah. Action starts at 1 p.m. at BYU's Smith Fieldhouse.
The Aggies then head to Boise, Idaho to take on Boise State on March 2 before USU's home finale on March 5 against BYU on Senior Night, honoring the two Aggie seniors, Rebecca Holliday and Haley Hogan.
Utah State is the host institution for the 2012 WAC Championships on Saturday, March 24. It will be the first time since 2006, USU's first year in the conference, that the Aggies will host the WAC Championships. Overall, it will be the seventh time that Utah State has hosted its conference meet. USU previously hosted the WAC Championships in 2006, the Western Gymnastics Conference Championships in 2002, the Big West Conference Championships in 1992, 1996 and 2000, as well as the High Country Athletic Conference Championships in 1988.
For USU gymnastics ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.
Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics or on Facebook at Utah State Gymnastics. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
UTAH STATE GYMNASTICS Sacramento State at Utah State
Utah State University (USU) 193.875 (Vault: 48.125; Bars: 49.925; Beam: 48.000; Floor: 48.825) California State University-Sacramento (CSUS) 193.400 (Vault: 48.575; Bars: 47.625; Beam: 48.325; Floor: 48.875)
All-Around 1. Sarah Landes - USU, 39.050; 2. Kalliah McCartney - CSUS, 38.825
Vault 1. Emiko Ono - CSUS, 9.775; T2. Paige Jones - USU, 9.750; T2 Kailey Hansen - CSUS, 9.750; T4. Sarah Landes - USU, 9.700; T9. Susie Miller - USU, 9.575; T9. Breyanna Aufiero - USU, 9.575; 11. Rebecca Holliday- USU, 9.525; 12. Amanda Watamaniuk - USU, 9.050
Bars 1. Kaitlyn Betts - USU, 9.825; T2. Paige Jones - USU, 9.800; T2. Nicole Meiller - CSUS, 9.800; T4. Amanda Watamaniuk - USU, 9.775; T4. Amelia Montoya - USU, 9.775; 6. Rebecca Holliday - USU, 9.750; 7. Sarah Landes - USU, 9.725
Beam 1. Rebecca Holliday - USU, 9.825; 2. Sarah Landes - USU, 9.775; T3. Kayla Wonderly - CSUS, 9.750; T3. Kalliah McCartney- CSUS, 9.750; 7. Haley Hogan- USU, 9.625; 8. Samantha Wagner - USU, 9.600; 10. Susie Miller - USU, 9.175; 11. Ashley Follett - USU, 9.050
Floor T1. Sarah Landes - USU, 9.850; T1. Kailey Hansen - CSUS, 9.850; 3. Amelia Montoya - USU, 9.825; T4. Paige Jones - USU, 9.800; T7. Amanda Watamaniuk - USU, 9.725; 11. Ashley Follet - USU, 9.625; 12. Susie Miller - USU, 9.100
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