March 16, 2012
TUCSON, Ariz. - A top road bars score and second-best overall score of the season on the apparatus paced Utah State gymnastics to a 192.975 and a third-place finish in a quad meet hosted by No. 18 Arizona Friday night, joined by Bridgeport and Air Force.
The host Wildcats of Arizona won the meet with a 196.525, followed by the Purple Knights of Bridgeport with a 193.525. USU's 192.975 was good for third, just ahead of the Falcons of Air Force's 192.175.
Friday was USU's final tune-up before next week's Western Athletic Conference Championships, which the Aggies host on Saturday, March 24 at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Sophomore Paige Jones was the top Aggie placer on the night, tying for second on bars with a 9.850. Redshirt-freshman Samantha Wagner was the top Aggie on beam, landing a career-best 9.800 to tie for fifth, while freshman Sarah Landes was USU's top placer on vault, tying for fifth with a 9.775 and junior Amelia Montoya was the Aggies' top floor performer with a 9.775 to tie for 10th.
In the all-around, Jones tied for fourth with a 38.500, just ahead of senior teammate Rebecca Holliday, who was fifth with a 38.375 and Landes tied for eighth at 37.975.
USU's 192.975 total came from its second-best bars score of the season with a 49.050, along with a 48.250 on vault, 48.150 on beam and a 47.525 on floor.
Arizona's winning score of 196.525 resulted from a 49.075 on vault, 49.225 on bars, 48.950 on beam and a 49.275 on floor. Bridgeport notched a 48.125 on vault, 48.450 on bars, 47.900 on beam and 49.050 on floor for its final score of 193.525. Air Force posted a 192.175 total from a 48.125 on vault, 48.400 on bars, 47.425 on beam and a 48.225 floor score.
Host Arizona swept the top individual honors as Aubree Cristello won the all-around with a 39.475 as well as taking top honors on floor with a 9.925 and winning vault with a 9.875. Allison Flores captured the bars crown with a 9.875, the same score that Britnie Jones posted to win beam.
The Aggies were without the services of junior Amanda Watamaniuk Friday night due to a season-ending injury sustained during practice this week.
USU opened the meet on floor, with freshman Ashley Follett leading off with an 8.925 followed by a 9.750 from Holliday, the third-straight meet in a row with a 9.750. Montoya then notched a 9.775, preceding a 9.725 from freshman Susie Miller. Jones tallied a 9.150 before Landes rounded out the rotation with a 9.125, giving USU a 47.525 floor total. Sophomore Christina Nye registered a 9.350 in an exhibition performance on floor.
After one rotation, USU was in fourth as Arizona zoomed to a 49.075 on vault, Air Force flew a 48.400 on bars and Bridgeport boasted a 47.900 on beam.
The Aggies were on vault for the second rotation, with Holiday starting things off with a 9.550, before Miller followed with a 9.525. Landes then landed a 9.775, preceding fellow freshman Kaitlyn Betts' 9.675. Jones registered a 9.725 before Montoya completed the lineup with a 9.425.
That gave USU a 48.250 on vault for a 95.775 two-rotation total. The Aggies were still in fourth at the meet's middle point, closing the gap on Air Force, who was third with a 95.875, while Bridgeport was in second with a 96.950 and Arizona continued to lead with a 98.300.
On bars for the third rotation, Landes led off USU's line-up with a 9.825, preceding a 9.775 by Holliday and a 9.825 from Montoya. Jones notched a 9.850, before Betts posted a 9.775. Nye notched a 9.275 to complete the Aggies' bars rotation. USU hung a 49.050 team-total on the board for bars team-total, its second-best mark of the season on the event. Freshman Jenna Saxton recorded a 9.425 in a bars exhibition performance.
The Aggies overtook the Falcons of Air Force for third with a 144.825 compared to a 144.050 for Air Force. Bridgeport remained in second with a 145.075 while Arizona continued to lead with a 147.250.
On beam for the fourth and final rotation, Follett started things off for the Aggies with a 9.600. Redshirt-freshman Samantha Wagner followed by landing a career-best 9.800. Jones then stuck a 9.775, preceding senior Haley Hogan hanging a 9.675 on the board. Holliday posted a 9.300 before Landes completed the rotation with a 9.250, giving USU a 48.150 on beam.
Miller completed USU's action on the night with an 8.8 in a beam exhibition performance.
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.
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