USU Gymnastics Opens Three-Meet Road Swing Sunday At Fullerton
Jan. 24, 2008
LOGAN, Utah -
#46 Utah State at #43 Cal State Fullerton Fullerton, Calif. Titan Gym (4,000) Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008 3 p.m. (MT)
ON TAP - To open a three-meet road swing and seeking its first win of the season, No. 46 Utah State (0-3, 0-3 WAC) will head to Fullerton, Calif. to take on 43rd-ranked Cal State Fullerton (3-2, 1-1 WAC) in a Western Athletic Conference dual on Sunday, Jan. 27... The meet will start at 3 p.m. (MT) at CSF's Titan Gym (4,000).
UP NEXT - The Aggies continue their three-meet road swing by heading to Southern Utah on Monday, Feb. 4, for another conference dual. USU then is in a quad meet with Oklahoma and Air Force, hosted by Denver, on Saturday, Feb. 9.
UTAHSTATE.TV - Fans can watch all USU gymnastics home meets live via the internet through UtahState.tv, available through www.UtahStateAggies.com, the official web site of USU athletics.
LIVE STATS - Live stats for Sunday's meet are available through Cal State Fullerton's web site: www.fullertontitans.com.
COLORADO CONNECTION - USU freshman Chelsea Marquardt and CSF sophomore Kori Underhill are from the same hometown of Centennial, Colo. There, they attended the same gymnastics club, Champion Gymnastics, where they received choreography coaching from USU assistant coach DeEtte Kozlow.
ABOUT UTAH STATE - Despite an 0-3 overall and WAC ledger, USU has improved its team score in each of its three meets. In their most recent action, the Aggies lost to the Broncos of Boise State, 195.700-192.400, on Tuesday.
It was the Aggies' second defeat at the hands of the Broncos in 11 days after a 192.625-187.925 loss in the season-opener on Jan. 11. Utah State also lost to two-time defending WAC champion Sacramento State, 192.575-191.050, on Jan. 18.
USU junior Nicki Felley took top score honors in the all-around with a season-high 38.775.
Freshman Jasmine Minion was named USU's Most Outstanding Gymnast of the meet, as she was second on floor with a season-high 9.850, as well as third on vault with a 9.775. Minion was also eighth on beam with a 9.625, her highest score in the event this year.
Fellow freshman Nicole Simoneau was tied for fourth on bars with a 9.775, the first time in the three meets that she did not win the event.
Sophomore Heather Heinrich was third on beam with a season-best 9.800, just shy of her career high of 9.850. Senior Megan Tschida was fourth on floor with a 9.800, just ahead of Felley's season-high 9.775, good for fifth.
After missing the first two meets recovering froma preseason injury, sophomore Devin Markle made her season debut in the Aggie lineup Tuesday, placing 12th on floor with an 8.975 as well as competing as an exhibitioner on vault, scoring a 9.525.
The Aggies have six freshmen who will compete this season along with seven returners from last season's squad that finished third at the 2007 WAC Championships and sixth at last year's NCAA Regionals, marking the 26th time in the 30 years of USU Gymnastics that Utah State qualified for postseason competition.
The veterans are led by seniors Megan Tschida and Katie Omann, along with junior Nicki Felley, as well as sophomores Heather Heinrich and Devin Markle. Headlining the freshmen are Lyndsie Boone, Jackie Dillon, Erica Huelsmann, Chelsea Marquardt, Jasmine Minion, Nicole Simoneau and Maegan Snodgrass.
ABOUT CAL STATE FULLERTON - The Titans bring a 3-2 overall record and 1-1 WAC mark into Sunday's dual after losing their opening action at San Jose State, 191.050-189.825, on Jan. 11. Fullerton got its first win of the season with a 189.525-189.000 victory at Sacramento State on Jan. 13 before finishing second in a quad meet with 191.025. UCLA won the meet with a 196.125 and Fullerton was followed by Brown University in third with a 183.025, and Wisconsin-Eau Claire in fourth with a 176.525.
Freshman Alaina Baker finished first on floor exercise with a 9.900. Baker was also fourth on vault (9.725), tied for fifth on bars (9.70), and ninth on beam (9.65) to finish fourth overall in the individual all-around with a career-best 38.975.
Junior Jessica Tait finished second on beam with a personal-best 9.825 while sophomore Kori Underhill was fifth on floor with a 9.800.
Cal State Fullerton returns eight letterwinners and added eight newcomers. Last season, under 2007 WAC Coach of the Year Jill Hicks, the Titans posted an 8-7 overall record and were 4-1 in WAC action. CSF finished fifth at the WAC Championships and the Titans were tabbed in that same position in this year's preseason poll.
USU-CSF SERIES HISTORY - Utah State is 16-11 all-time against Cal State Fullerton, including 2-4 at Fullerton.
The Aggies only met the Titans once last season, at the WAC Championships, where USU was third with a 195.175 while CSF was fifth with a 193.625.
Utah State's last trip to Fullerton was the 2006 season-opener, with the Titans narrowly edging the Aggies, 187.975-187.925, for third-place in a quad meet behind North Carolina State (188.575) and San Jose State (188.450).
REGIONAL HISTORY - In the 30 year history of the USU gymnastics program, the Aggies have qualified for regionals 26 times, with the highest finish coming in 1982 when the Aggies placed second and went on to the National Championships, where they placed ninth.
The most recent appearance at the regional championships by USU was in 2007 when the Aggies placed sixth at the regional meet.
2008 WAC PRESEASON RANKINGS - Utah State was tabbed in a tie for third in the Western Athletic Conference preseason gymnastics poll, released by the conference Monday, Jan. 7. This is the first season that the conference has done a preseason poll.
The Aggies, who garnered one first-place vote and 23 points, are tied with Boise State, who received the same amount of first-place votes and points.
Southern Utah had three first-place votes and 27 points, tying with defending WAC champion Sacramento State who also had 27 points but just one first-place vote. Cal State Fullerton and San Jose State round out the poll at fifth and sixth with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The 2008 WAC gymnastics championship will take place at the Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho on Saturday, March 29.
IN THE NATION - Utah State gymnastics began the 2008 season ranked 33rd in the country according to the Troester Women's Preseason Coaches Poll, before falling to No. 46 in this week's rankings.
Four USU opponents are ranked in the preseason top 25 in third-ranked Utah, eighth-ranked Oklahoma, No. 15 Denver and No. 24 Kentucky. Other Aggie opponents are BYU at No. 27, followed by Western Athletic Conference foes Boise State and Southern Utah at No.'s 28 and 29 respectively, Sacramento State at No. 34, San Jose State at No. 35 and Cal State Fullerton at No. 36.
WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE - The Aggies return four all-WAC honorees, in seniors Katie Omann (first-team vault) and Megan Tschida (first-team floor), junior Nicki Felley (second-team bars, floor) and sophomore Heather Heinrich (first-team vault).
Tschida also earned WAC Specialist of the Week honors (Feb. 26, 2007).
2008 TEAM CAPTAINS - Seniors Kelly Patterson and Katie Omann along with junior Nicki Felley are serving as team captains. This is Patterson's third season in the position, while it is Omann's and Felley's first.
2008 SEASON OUTLOOK - Upon first glance at Utah State's gymnastics roster one would notice that is laden with newcomers, and thoughts of a rebuilding year would come to mind.
However, Corn and his two new assistants, DeEtte Kozlow and Dave Hancock, are excited and optimistic about this season and hope to lead Utah State to its 27th postseason appearance, ending with its first trip to the NCAA Championships in over 15 years.
"We have an outstanding blend of youth and experience with seven freshman and seven veterans returning back to our squad," Corn said. The 2008 season will be Corn's 31st season at the helm of the USU program and he is the only head coach in USU's Division I history.
Tschida has the highest average score on floor exercise from last season with a 9.808. Omann is the leading returner on vault with an average score of 9.781 and had an average score of 9.443 on the beam, which is second among the returners. Felley holds the highest returning average score on bars with a 9.700 and the second-leading returning score in both floor exercise and all-around with 9.686 and 38.635, respectively.
Markle owns the leading returning all-around average score of 38.758, while Heinrich has the second-highest returning average score on vault with a 9.723 and the third-highest in the all-around with 38.250.
"On paper, it's a very impressive class of freshmen, with their experience and successes as USA Junior Olympic competitors," Corn said.
Nevertheless, according to Corn the Aggies have had their challenges since the signing date last year and before the newcomers' reporting date with injuries obtained during their senior year of competition in high school. Along with recent and late surgeries of the veterans, Corn sees it as just one of many challenges.
"Those are our challenges to overcome and we will overcome those obstacles," said an optimistic Corn.
Utah State was 11-11 last year, finishing sixth at the NCAA Regional Championships. The Aggies entered the regional meet ranked 28th in the country with a regional qualifying score of 194.695, but Corn believes that USU can improve on both that ranking and the score this season.
HEAD COACH RAY CORN - Ray Corn has created and maintained a tradition of success in his 30 years at Utah State, both in the gym and in the classroom.
As the only coach in USU's Division I gymnastics history, he has led the Aggies to the postseason 26 times, including five trips to the national championships. Corn owns an overall record of 436-426-2, with a regular-season record of 383-270-2.
Corn was named the Midwest Regional Coach of the Year in 1991, earned Big West Co-Coach of the Year honors in 1994 and was named Big West Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2001. He also earned Coach of the Year honors in the High Country Athletic Conference in 1986, 1987 and 1988 and was named WGC Coach of the Year in 2005.
Corn has coached three All-Americans, three Olympians, two World Championship competitors and had nine gymnasts qualify for the NCAA National Championships.
Since 1991, 32 gymnasts have earned academic All-America honors 50 times. USU gymnasts have also received 86 academic all-conference accolades.
A GLANCE AT THE AGGIES -
Lyndsie Boone - Posted a 9.350 (6th) on beam, a 9.400 (7th) on floor and a 9.575 (8th) on bars at the Boise State dual... Logged a then season-high 9.550 (5th) on floor, as well as an 8.900 (12th) on vault in the Sacramento State dual... Posted season highs in all three events she competed in at the home dual with Boise State, 9.600 on both vault (10th) and floor (10th), as well as 9.550 on beam (9th).
HIGH SCHOOL: Competed as a Level 10 gymnast for Randy Anderson at Scamps Gymnastics... Was a three-time national qualifier ... Placed seventh in all-around at 2007 Regionals, including third in vault... Won the all-around as well as the vault and beam at the Wisconsin Level 10 State Championships... Helped Scamps to five Wisconsin state titles... Graduated from Zion Benton High School with a 3.7 grade point average.
Jackie Dillon - Competed as an exhibitioner on bars at Boise State, scoring an 8.95... Also an exhibitioner in the Sac State dual, posting a season-high 9.55 on vault and an 8.45 on bars... Did not compete in the home Boise State dual.
HIGH SCHOOL: Competed as a Level 10 gymnast at Hayden's International Gymnastics Academy for Denis Hayden and Craig Kirby... Finished 19th in the all-around and third on the vault at the 2006 regional championships after finishing 21st in the all-around in 2005... Graduated from Greenbrier High School with a 3.8 grade point average.
Nicki Felley - Was second in the all-around at Boise State, scoring a 36.775... Was tied for sixth on vault (9.600), ninth on floor (9.250), 10th on beam and 12th on bars (8.900) at the Boise State dual... Against Sac State, she posted 9.675 on beam (5th), 9.650 (T-5th) on bars, as well as tying season high with 9.600 (T-6th) on vault and scoring a 9.100 (11th) on floor, totaling a USU-best 38.025 (3rd) in the all-around... Won the all-around of the home Boise State dual with a season-high 38.775... Posted season-highs in three of the four events with a 9.775 (5th) on floor, 9.700 (7th) on vault and 9.675 (7th) on beam... Also had a 9.625 (9th) on bars.
LAST SEASON: Competed in the floor exercise in every meet of the season, the vault in all but two meets and the beam in all but three meets, as well as competing in the all-around in five meets... Had a career-best 39.005 in the all-around at the WAC Championships (3/31)... Posted a career-high with a 9.875 on vault at home against Southern Utah (2/23), tying the 13th-best mark in USU history... Also tallied a career-best on the floor with a 9.900 at San Jose State with Boise State and Seattle Pacific (1/26), a mark that is tied for 19th in school history and tied for the best score for USU... Had season averages of 38.635 in all-around, 9.686 on floor exercise, 9.625 on vault, 9.325 on beam and 9.700 on bars... Her 9.700 bars average is the 14th-best single-season average in USU history... Earned second-team all-WAC honors by finishing sixth in the all-around at the WAC Championships with her career-best score of 39.050, after placing tied for fourth on bars (9.800), tied for sixth on floor (9.775), tied for eighth on beam (9.825) and 29th in vault (9.650)... Earned second-team all-WAC in bars and floor... Placed 12th at the NCAA North Central Regionals (38.375) after finishing 15th on beam (9.75), 34th on bars (9.525), 38th on vault (9.625) and 40th on floor (9.475)... Received academic all-WAC honors as well as the USU Joe E. and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Award.
Heather Heinrich - Was first in the all-around at Boise State, scoring a 36.875... Placed eighth on floor (9.350), ninth on vault (9.400) and tied for 10th on both bars (9.100) and beam (9.025)... In the Sac State dual, tallied 9.650 (4th) on vault and 9.600 (7th) on beam, as well as 8.950 (12th) on floor and 8.850 (12th) on bars, for a total of a 37.050 (6th) in the all-around, for a season high... Tallied season-highs in all three events she competed in at home against Boise State with a 9.800 (3rd) on beam, 9.750 (4th) on vault and 9.700 (7th) on bars.
LAST SEASON: Competed in the vault and beam in every meet, as well as all but five meets in bars... Also competed in floor exercise in final six meets of season and in the all-around in four of the final six meets of the year... Had season-averages of 9.723 in vault, 9.646 on floor, 9.506 on bars, 9.452 on beam and 38.250 on all-around... The 9.723 average on vault is the 17th-best in school history... Posted a 9.850 on vault at the WAC Championships (3/31), a mark that ties for No. 21 on USU's best individual scores... Had a season-high 9.850 on beam against Southern Utah (2/23)... Posted a season-high 9.750 on floor at BYU and against Oregon State (3/9)... Also tallied a season-high 9.750 on bars vs. Minnesota (3/17)... Finished 10th in the all-around at the WAC Championships with a season-best 38.750, also placing tied for third in the vault with teammate Katie Omann (9.850) to earn first-team all-WAC honors, tied for 13th in the bars (9.725), tied for 19th on beam (9.750) and 30th on floor (9.425)... Was 10th at the NCAA North Central Regionals in the all-around (38.450), finishing tied for 29th on bars (9.650), tied for 23rd on beam (9.675), tied for 28th on floor (9.675) and 39th on vault (9.450).
Erica Huelsmann - Redshirting this season after shoulder surgery.
HIGH SCHOOL: Competed as a Level 10 gymnast for Todd Gardner at the Illinois Gymnastics Institute... She placed 41st at the 2005 National Championships, after a second-place finish on the bars, beam and the all-around at regionals... At the state championships, she placed first on the beam and floor, and third in the all-around.. She graduated from Naperville Central High School with a 4.0 grade point average... Was a member of the National Honor Society.
Devin Markle - Did not compete at Boise State nor in the Sacramento State dual due to injury... Made her season debut in the Aggie lineup in the Boise State dual, placing 12th on floor with an 8.975 as well as competing as an exhibitioner on vault, scoring a 9.525.
LAST SEASON: Competed in vault, bars and floor in all but three meets, as well as competing in 10 meets on beam and in six meets in the all-around... Had season-averages of 9.696 on vault, 9.661 on floor, 9.489 on bars, 9.215 on beam and 38.758 in all-around... Logged all her season-best marks at home, highlighted by career outing against Southern Utah (2/23) in which she posted season-highs in the all-around (38.925), floor (9.85) and beam (9.700)... Recorded a season-high 9.800 on vault vs. Boise State (2/1) and 9.800 on bars vs. Alaska-Anchorage... Was 36th in vault at WAC Championships (3/31) with a 9.100... Placed tied for 15th in vault (9.775) and 37th on floor (9.575) at the NCAA North Central Regional (4/14)... Earned academic all-WAC honors as well as the USU Joe E. and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Award.
Chelsea Marquardt - Was third on beam with a 9.550 and tied for third on vault with a 9.700 at Boise State dual... Posted season-highs in all three events she competed in of the Sacramento State dual, tying for first on vault (9.800) as well as finishing third on bars (9.700) and sixth on beam (9.625)... Suffered injury in vault of the Boise State dual and did not compete.
HIGH SCHOOL: Was a five-year Level 10 gymnast for Champion's Gymnastics Team under Aaron Gallegos and Emily Peterman... Was a two-time national championship qualifier, placing 10th on bars in 2007... Was an alternate in 2006... Placed eighth in the all-around, second on vault and 10th on bars in 2005... Graduated from Eaglecrest High School with a 3.2 grade point average.
Jasmine Minion - In the season-opener at Boise State, she was fourth on beam (9.45), fifth on vault (9.675) and 10th on floor exercise (8.900)... In the Sac State dual, she tied for first on vault (9.800) as well as finishing third on floor (9.625) and tied for eighth on beam (9.550)... Was named USU's Most Outstanding Gymnast of the meet of the Boise State dual, as she was second on floor with a season-high 9.850, as well as third on vault with a 9.775... Minion was also eighth on beam with a 9.625, her highest score in the event this year.
HIGH SCHOOL: Competed as a Level 10 gymnast for Gus Vandervoot at River City Gymnastics... Placed eighth in the all-around at the Eastern Regionals, finishing first on floor exercise... Was 26th in all-around at 2006 Junior Olympic Nationals including eighth in vault... Was state champion at Level 7-9... Graduated from Bolton High School with a 3.1 grade point average.
Katie Omann - At the Boise State dual, was tied for 10th on bars (9.100) and 11th on vault (8.950)... Was 10th on bars (9.050) in the Sacramento State dual, as well as logging an 8.95 on beam as an exhibitioner... Posted a season-high 9.750 (6th) on bars in the home dual with Boise State as well as performing as an exhibitioner on beam with a 9.025.
LAST SEASON: Competed in vault in nine meets, beam in seven meets, bars in five and floor exercise in one... Posted season-averages of 9.781 on vault, 9.443 on beam and 9.205 on bars... Had a career-best 9.850 on the vault at WAC Championships (3/31), placing tied for third with teammate Heather Heinrich and earning first-team all-WAC recognition... Posted a career-best 9.725 on beam and season-best 9.675 on floor at Boise State (3/23)... Recorded a season-high 9.650 on bars against BYU (1/22)... Was also 31st on beam (9.650) at WAC Championships... Placed tied for 26th on vault (9.700) and 42nd on beam (8.750) at NCAA North Central Regionals... Earned academic all-WAC honors as well as USU Joe E. and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Award accolades.
Kelly Patterson - Has not competed in either of the Boise State nor the Sac State duals.
LAST SEASON: Did not compete in any meets... A USU Joe E. and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Award recipient.
Ana Rickard-Whitfield - Placed 11th in the floor exercise at Boise State dual (8.825)... Scored a 9.475 on floor as a exhibitioner in the Sac State dual... Notched a career-high 9.700 (T-7th) on floor in the home Boise State dual.
LAST SEASON: Competed in one meet, posting a career-best 9.675 in the floor exercise at Boise State (3/23)... Earned academic all-WAC accolades as well as a USU Joe E. and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Award recipient.
Nicole Simoneau - Won the bars (9.800) at the Boise State dual, as well as 12th on beam (8.700)... Competed in the all-around in the Sac State dual for the first time this season, posting 37.650 (5th), winning the bars for the second meet in a row with a season-high 9.825... Also posted 9.575 on vault (9th), 9.175 (10th) on floor and 9.075 (12th) on beam... Logged a season-high 9.650 (9th) on vault in the home dual with Boise State, as well as 9.775 (4th) on bars and 8.600 (12th) on beam.
HIGH SCHOOL: Competed as a Level 10 gymnast at Gymnastics Village for Ray Schumacher... A former National Elite... At the 2006 Junior Olympic National Championship she placed 21st in the all-around and fourth in the floor exercise... Was 35th at the 2005 Junior Olympic National Championships at Senior A Level 10 after placing 10th in 2004 at Junior C Level 10... Won state and regional championships... Graduated from Manchester Central High School.
Maegan Snodgrass - Was an exhibitioner at the Boise State dual, scoring a 9.55 on vault... Did not compete in the Sac State dual after an injury during warm-ups... Missed the Boise State home dual with an injury.
HIGH SCHOOL: Competed as a Level 10 gymnast with Olympus Gymnastics for Mary Wright... Was a member of the three-time club state champions... In 2005 she finished 15th in the all-around at the Regional Championships... Was also an Olympic weightlifter, finishing seventh in the nation in her age and weight group... In 2006, she won both the 18 & under and the 21 & under USA Weightlifting National Juniors Championship, setting an American National Schoolage Record in the snatch event... Graduated from Bingham High School with a 3.7 grade point average.
Megan Tschida - Was USU's highest finisher on floor exercise at the Boise State dual, by tying for fourth (9.725), as well as finishing eighth on bars (9.450)... Won the floor exercise with a season-high 9.850 in the dual with Sac State, as well as tying for eighth on beam (9.550) and ninth on bars (9.100)... In the home dual against Boise State, was fourth on floor (9.800), 11th on beam (9.000) and 11th on bars (8.700).
LAST SEASON: Competed in all but five meets in floor exercise and in one meet on beam... Posted a season-best 9.900 on floor against Southern Utah (2/23), a mark that is the 19th-best in school history and tied for the season-best score for USU... Had a season average of 9.808 on floor... Earned WAC Specialist of the Week (2/26)... Placed third on floor at the WAC Championships (3/31) with a 9.825 to earn first-team all-WAC honors... Finished 39th on floor at the NCAA North Central Regionals (4/14) with a 9.550.