Jan. 23, 2013
Southern Utah & Hamline at Utah State Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) Logan, Utah Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 - 7 p.m. (MT)
HOME SWEET HOME - After starting the season with two road meets, Utah State Gymnastics is at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for the first home meet of the year. The Aggies will host Southern Utah University and Hamline University.
This is the third consecutive season in which Southern Utah has been involved in the Aggies' home opener. In 2012, USU opened the home season hosting SUU and Boise State, while the Thunderbirds helped start the 2011 home campaign with a dual-meet.
SHOWING SOME LOVE - To kick-off the home season, Utah State Athletics is sponsoring two community promotions for Friday's meet. Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night is open to all employees of Utah State University. By presenting a flyer that has been distributed around campus, employees will be eligible to pay just $1 for a ticket to the meet. In the Greek Challenge, members of the USU fraternity or sorority who have the highest percentage of members in attendance will receive free T-Shirts for their chapter.
TUNING IN - Live meet results will be available through a variety of sources. Fans can follow along through the "Live Stats" or "Watch Live" links on UtahStateAggies.com. There will be a small fee required in order to watch the meet. Fans can also follow @USUGymnastics on Twitter.
ABOUT SOUTHERN UTAH - The Thunderbirds are coming off a quad-meet at No. 8 Utah, where they took fourth-place behind Utah, No. 16 Oregon State and West Virginia. With an overall score of 191.050, the Thunderbirds notched 48.425 on vault, 47.675 on bars, 46.675 on balance beam and 48.275 on floor.
Though 0-4 on the season, the Thunderbirds have had a tough schedule, having opened the season at now-No.4 UCLA, falling 196.150-194.875. Southern Utah is led by seniors Caitlin Kennedy and Michaela Chernoch. Overall, the team is averaging an overall score of 192.962 and is currently ranked third in the WAC and No. 41 nationally.
ABOUT HAMLINE - Hamline University is a Division-III school out of St. Paul, Minn. The Pipers compete in the National Collegiate Gymnastics Association and are part of the North Central Region with Utah State and Southern Utah.
Hamline is 1-4 on the season, coming off a second-place finish in a tri-meet against Winona State and Gustavus Adolphus. The Pipers had a total score of 175.950, defeating Gustavus Adolphus (171.950) and falling to Winona State (180.075). Overall, Hamline is averaging an all-around score of 174.757 and is ranked seventh in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Pipers are led by juniors Kambria Blakely and Courtney Benson.
TICKET INFO - USU Gymnastics tickets are available through 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. Utah State students get in free with their student ID.
THE LAST TIME OUT - Utah State gymnastics had a series of high scores and one an event win as it lost at Boise State, 194.875-191.250.
The Aggies recorded a 47.100 on bars, a 48.025 on vault, 47.575 on floor and a 48.550 on beam for their final score of 191.250. The Broncos posted a 48.825 on vault, 48.725 on bars, 48.525 on beam and 48.800 on floor for their winning total of 194.875.
In all-around competition, sophomore Sarah Landes took second-place with a score of 38.800, with Boise State's Brittany Potvin-Green claiming the title with a score of 38.875. Junior Paige Jones finished third in the all-around (38.650), while freshman Hayley Sanzotti finished sixth (37.650).
Freshman Joanna Cuba claimed Utah State's only event title with a score of 9.825 on the balance beam, while Landes tied for second (9.800) and Sanzotti took fourth (9.750). Jones and freshman Michelle Yasukochi tied for fourth on bars with 9.775. Jones also finished fifth on vault (9.725), while Landes finished fifth on floor (9.675).
LAST MEETING - As both WAC and in-state rivals, Utah State and Southern Utah have a long history of competition. The teams have been consistently comparable, with a nearly even record. The Thunderbirds currently edge out the Aggies, leading 37-36.
Last season, the two teams met three different times, the most recent being at the WAC Championships in Logan. SUU came out on top of USU in all three competitions, just edging the Aggies in a tri-meet with Boise State (194.525-194.050) on Jan. 27. In a tri-meet at BYU on Feb. 25, the Thunderbirds finished second with a total score of 193.925 over the Aggies' 193.625. SUU placed third at the WAC Championships with a 195.025 while USU finished fifth with a 194.775.
This will be the first meeting between Utah State and Hamline. Southern Utah faced Hamline during the 2007 season at a quad-meet with CS Fullerton and UC Davis. The Thunderbirds finished second at the meet with a 190.575 with Hamline finishing fourth with a 181.375.
BEAM ME UP, SCOTTY - Though historically its toughest event, Utah State gymnastics is seeing a lot of success on the balance beam so far this season. With an average score of 48.163 and a season-high of 48.550, the Aggies are currently in 36th-place on beam nationally and second in the WAC. Freshman Joanna Cuba won the beam title in last week's meet at Boise State with a 9.825.
JOINING THE RANKS - This week, Utah State is No. 59 in the Gym Info/Troester rankings. For the first half of the season, the rankings are based solely on each team's average scores. The Aggies are in ninth-place among the North Central Region and fifth in the WAC.
On an individual level, several Aggies are climbing the ranks. In all-around competition, sophomore Sarah Landes and junior Paige Jones are tied in 67th-place nationally, 12th-place regionally and in sixth-place in the conference with an average score of 38.725.
Six Aggie gymnasts are among the top 20 in the WAC in individual events. Jones is tied for 13th-place on vault, in ninth on bars and tied for 14th on beam. Landes is in 20th-place on vault, eighth-place on bars, tied for 14th on beam and tied for 15th on floor. Sophomore Kaitlyn Betts is in 19th on vault, freshman Joanna Cuba is tied for 13th on beam and sophomore Susie Miller is tied for 20th on floor.
SOCIAL MEDIA - Fans can get live updates from the meets as well as other team information through the USU Twitter and Facebook pages - Twitter: www.twitter.com/USUGymnastics and Facebook: Utah State Gymnastics.
UP NEXT - The Aggies and the Thunderbirds have back-to-back weeks of competition. Next weekend, Utah State will travel to Cedar City for the second of three meetings between the two teams. The Feb. 1 meet will be the first WAC meet for both teams.
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER - USU returns six different gymnasts who claimed event titles in 2012. Junior Paige Jones and sophomore Sarah Landes both had five individual event wins, as well as two all-around titles. Senior Amelia Montoya and sophomores Kaitlyn Betts and Susie Miller each had one event win.
TURNING MORE THAN JUST CARTWHEELS - Utah State had four returning gymnasts earn academic all-WAC honors last season. Senior Amanda Watamaniuk and juniors Samantha Wagner, Christina Nye and Paige Jones all earned GPAs of 3.0 or better. Eight Aggies were also honored as USU Alma E. Whitesides Scholar-Athletes.
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