Jan. 30, 2013
Utah State at Southern Utah Centrum Arena (5,300) Cedar City, Utah Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 - 7 p.m. (MT)
HIT THE ROAD, AGS - Once again, Utah State gymnastics is on the road for the weekend action. The Aggies spent one meet at home in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, after opening the season with two consecutive road meets at BYU and Boise State.
AGGIES AND THUNDERBIRDS, ROUND II - The Utah State and Southern Utah gymnastics programs have a long history of competition against each other. Most recently, the teams squared off in a tri-meet in Logan, just last weekend. The Thunderbirds came out on top, notching a final score of 194.075, while the Aggies finished second with a season-best total score of 192.875.
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 that will redirect to SUU's website. There will be a small fee required in order to watch the meet. Fans can also follow @USUGymnastics on Twitter.
PUPIL VS. TEACHER - It may not be quite as famous as the noteworthy student and teacher match-ups like Luke Skywalker and Yoda, Cory Matthews and Mr. Feeny, Mr. Miyagi and the Karate Kid, Neil Perry and John Keating, or Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski, but Friday's meet features fifth-year USU head coach Jeff Richards facing his former boss, as he was an assistant under SUU head coach Scott Bauman from 1991-98.
RIGHT OFF THE OL' CORN COB - Both USU and SUU head coaches began their coaching careers as student assistants for Utah State legendary head coach Ray Corn, with Richards coaching from 1988-90 while Bauman was with the Aggies through his 1990 graduation.
ALMA MATER SWAP - Saturday's meet also features a match-up between two head coaches leading the opposite's alma mater, as USU's Richards is a 1995 Southern Utah graduate while SUU's Bauman is a 1990 graduate of Utah State.
FAMILIAR FOES - 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 38-36, after finishing first in Logan last weekend.
Last season, the two teams met four different times, ending the season at the WAC Championships in Logan. SUU came out on top of USU in three of the four competitions, with the Aggies beating the Thunderbirds in Cedar City,194.200-193.700 on March 9. SUU just edged out 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 weekend will be the second of three meetings between the two teams for the 2013 season. Just opposite of last year, the regular season will conclude with Southern Utah hosting the WAC Championship meet in Cedar City on Saturday, March 23.
ABOUT SOUTHERN UTAH - The Thunderbirds are now 2-4 on the season, after starting the season on a rough note. SUU opened the season at now-No.4 UCLA, falling 196.150-194.875, followed by a quad-meet at Utah, where they took fourth-place behind Utah, No. 16 Oregon State and West Virginia. Southern Utah is led by seniors Caitlin Kennedy and Michaela Chernoch. Overall, the team is averaging an overall score of 193.333 and is currently ranked third in the WAC and No. 38 nationally. THE LAST TIME OUT - Two event wins and the all-around title helped Utah State gymnastics to a second-place finish in a tri-meet against Southern Utah and Hamline University Friday night.
The Aggies recorded a season-high 48.950 on vault, a season-best 48.625 on bars, 48.125 on beam and a 47.175 on floor for their final score of 192.875. The Thunderbirds posted a 48.375 on bars, 48.925 on vault, 48.600 on floor and 48.125 on floor for their winning total of 194.025. The Pipers had 46.350 on beam, 46.100 on floor, 47.175 on vault and 42.350 on bars for a final score of 181.975.
Sophomore Sarah Landes took home the all-around title with a total score and season-best mark of 39.125. SUU's Caitlin Kennedy finished in second-place with a 38.750 while Aggie junior Paige Jones finished third with a 38.350.
Along with her all-around win, Landes claimed the balance beam win with a season-high 9.825. Freshman Stefanie Daley finished tied for second with a 9.800, for a new season-best, while freshman Hayley Sanzotti finished tied for fourth with a 9.750, tying her season-high. The Aggies also swept the top spots on bars with freshman Kinzey Martinez taking the win with a 9.825 in her first action of the season. Jones was second with a 9.800 for a new top mark of the season, while Landes captured third with a 9.775. Jones and Martinez tied for second on the vault with a 9.825, both notching new season-highs, while Landes took third on the floor with a 9.725 for another season-high.
JOINING THE RANKS - This week, Utah State is No. 57 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 No. 9 among the North Central Region and sixth in the WAC.
On an individual level, several Aggies are climbing the ranks. In all-around competition, sophomore Sarah Landes is tied at No. 62 nationally with an average score of 38.858, while junior Paige Jones is ranked 85th with 38.600. Among WAC gymnasts, Landes is sixth while Jones is ninth. After just one week of competition, freshman Kinzey Martinez is among the top 100 nationally, tied for No. 44 on bars and tied for 66th on vault, both with a score of 9.825.
Four Aggie gymnasts are among the top 20 in the WAC in their individual events. Landes is tied for 20th on vault with sophomore Kaitlyn Betts (9.708) as well as being 19th on floor (9.692), 10th on beam (9.700) and tied for 11th with Jones on bars (9.758). Jones is 12th on vault (9.767), while Martinez is in second-place on vault and tied for fourth on bars with a 9.825 average on both events.
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 return home next weekend, where they will host the Falcons of the Air Force Academy. Action gets underway at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. The team will then head out on its longest roadtrip of the season, with a tri-meet at San Jose State, a quad-meet in Denver, then back to California for a dual-meet at Sacramento State.
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.
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER - So far this season, four Aggies have won event titles, including one all-around win. Junior Paige Jones tied for the vault title at BYU (9.750), while freshman Joanna Cuba won the balance beam at Boise State (9.825). The tri-meet against SUU and Hamline was the most successful for USU gymnasts, with freshman Kinzey Martinez winning bars (9.825) and sophomore Sarah Landes claiming the beam and all-around titles (9.825/39.125).
USU returns six different gymnasts who claimed event titles in 2012. Jones and sophomore 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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