SEATTLE, Wash. -
Utah State's gymnastics team concluded its 2017 season by placing sixth with a score of 194.850 at the NCAA Regional Championships on Saturday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
No. 1-ranked Oklahoma, the top seed in the Regional, placed first with a 198.075, while No. 13 and third-seeded Washington finished second with a 196.550. The Sooners (23-0) and Huskies (14-11-1) both advanced to the NCAA National Championships, which will be held April 14-15 in St. Louis, Mo.
"The girls are definitely disappointed that they weren't able to show their best routines today," said fourth-year USU head coach Nadalie Walsh. "We had some really outstanding performances from a lot of freshmen and that was really great to see. It's good to see that the freshmen could really just step up in a postseason meet and put it all on the line and not hold back, so I think we have a really bright future. It was good to not have any major mistakes or falls that we had to count, but it killed us to get a lot of 9.700s that we haven't had all year."
The Aggies (9-16), who were seeded fourth, recorded their third-highest team score in school history in a regional meet with the 194.850. Rounding out the six-team field was No. 12 and second-seeded Kentucky, which placed third with a 196.200, followed by fifth-seeded Stanford in fourth (195.575) and sixth-seeded BYU in fifth (195.025).
After a bye in the first rotation, Utah State began its evening on bars, where it recorded a 48.725 - the second-highest team score in school history in a regional meet. Senior Bailey McIntire tied for 15th on the event with a 9.800, while sophomore Madison Ward and senior Keri Peel tied for 26th with a pair of 9.750s.
The Aggies moved to beam in the second rotation, where McIntire again led the way for the team as she tied for 20th with a 9.775. Freshman Elle Golison also tied for 20th and Peel tied for 24th with a 9.750.
"On beam, we had a few wobbles, but they finished their routine strong," Ward said. "We were all able to stay on the beam, so that was really good and I'm proud of them."
Following its second bye of the night, Utah State competed on floor in the fifth rotation, recording a 48.675. As she did all season long, Ward led the Aggies on the event, tying for 15th with a 9.825 - two of the judges flashed 9.900s for her routine.
"We came out and I know we were excited," Ward said. "We were grateful and excited to be here and to compete with some awesome teams. Unfortunately, we didn't do our best, but I'm happy with the highlights we did have."
McIntire and fellow senior Hayley Sanzotti each tied for 27th on floor with 9.725s, while Peel and freshman Jazmyn Estrella tied for 29th with a pair of 9.700s.
"To be honest, the girls did some really good floor routines, they just didn't get the scores today," Walsh said. "The girls just need to stay committed and work really hard, and not get down on themselves. I would be lying to you if I didn't say that this wasn't a disappointing finish for us, but not a disappointing year."
Utah State capped the meet strong with a 48.950 on vault, only finishing behind Oklahoma (49.575) and Kentucky (49.050). The Aggies' team score on the event set the school record for an NCAA Regional Championships meet.
"We've actually had the best season that we've had since I've been here," McIntire said. "It was a disappointment tonight, but we still finished higher than we've ever finished before since I've been here. I'm just really proud of the entire season, even though tonight didn't turn out how we wanted it to. I'm just happy that we had the season we did."
Golison, fellow freshman MaKayla Bullitt and junior Miranda Hone all tied for 13th on vault with a 9.800, while Ward and Estrella rounded out the Aggies' top-five scores by tying for 24th with 9.775s. Senior Katie Brown tied for 32nd with a 9.725.
Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, on Facebook at Utah State Gymnastics, and on Instagram at USUGymnastics. Fans can also follow the USU athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at UtahStateAthletics.
Utah State at NCAA Regional Championships - Seattle, Wash. - Alaska Airlines Arena - April 1, 2017
Team Results: 1. Oklahoma - 198.075 (vault: 49.575, bars: 49.550, beam: 49.500, floor: 49.450); 2. Washington - 196.550 (vault: 48.875, bars: 49.250, beam: 49.175, floor: 49.250); 3. Kentucky - 196.200 (vault: 49.050, bars: 48.975, beam: 49.150, floor: 49.025); 4. Stanford - 195.575 (vault: 48.975, bars: 49.100, beam: 48.600, floor: 48.900); 5. BYU - 195.025 (vault: 48.800, bars: 48.625, beam: 48.775, floor: 48.825); 6. Utah State - 194.850 (vault: 48.950, bars: 48.725, beam: 48.500, floor: 48.675).
Vault: T-1. Maggie Nichols - OU, 9.950; T-1. AJ Jackson - OU, 9.950; 3. Brenna Dowell - OU, 9.925; T-4. Chayse Capps - OU, 9.900; T-4. Elizabeth Price - Stanford, 9.900; T-13. Elle Golison - USU, 9.800; T-13. Miranda Hone - USU, 9.800; T-13. MaKayla Bullitt - USU, 9.800; T-24. Madison Ward - USU, 9.775; T-24. Jazmyn Estrella - USU, 9.775; T-32. Katie Brown - USU, 9.725.
Bars: 1. Elizabeth Price - Stanford, 9.975; T-2. Kaitlyn Duranczyk - UW, 9.950; T-2. McKenzie Wofford - OU, 9.950; 4. Stefani Catour - OU, 9.925; T-5. Maggie Nichols - OU, 9.900; T-5. Nicole Lehrmann - OU. 9.900; T-15. Bailey McIntire - USU, 9.800; T-26. Madison Ward - USU, 9.750; T-26. Keri Peel - USU, 9.750; T-28. Jazmyn Estrella - USU, 9.725; T-33. Brittany Jeppesen - USU, 9.700; 42. Melanie Oster - USU, 7.300.
Beam: T-1. Maggie Nichols - OU, 9.950; T-1. Chayse Capps - OU, 9.950; T-3. Hailey Burleson - UW, 9.900; T-3. Alex Hyland - UK, 9.900; T-3. Natalie Brown - OU, 9.900; T-20. Bailey McIntire - USU, 9.775; T-20. Elle Golison - USU, 9.775; T-24. Keri Peel - USU, 9.750; T-35. Hayley Sanzotti - USU, 9.600; T-35. Katie Brown - USU, 9.600; 37. Melanie Oster - USU, 9.575.
Floor: 1. Maggie Nichols - OU, 9.950; T-2. Chayse Crapps - OU, 9.900; T-2. Alexandra Yacalis - UW, 9.900; T-4. Brenna Dowell - OU, 9.875; T-4. Charity Jones - OU, 9.875; T-15. Madison Ward - USU, 9.825; T-27. Bailey McIntire - USU, 9.725; T-27. Hayley Sanzotti - USU, 9.725; T-29. Keri Peel - USU, 9.700; T-29. Jazmyn Estrella - USU, 9.700; T-37. Elle Golison - USU, 9.650.
All-Around: 1. Maggie Nichols - OU, 39.750; 2. Chayse Capps - OU, 39.550; 3. Hailey Burleson - UW, 39.400; T-4. Alex Hyland - UK, 39.300; T-4. Mollie Korth - UK, 39.300.
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