Utah State Gymnastics Notes vs. Brigham Young and Southern Utah

Feb. 10, 2004

LOGAN, Utah -

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THIS WEEKEND - Utah State gymnastics (5-4) goes on the road to face in-state rivals Brigham Young on Friday Feb 13 and will stay on the road for a meet on Monday, Feb.16 at Southern Utah. Both meets begin at 7p.m. MST.

NEXT WEEK - The Aggies come home to the Spectrum to face conference opponent Boise State, along with Missouri on Friday Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. MST. Former Olympians John Roethlisberger and Shannon Miller will be on hand to sign autographs after the meet.

LAST WEEK - Utah State hosted its first meet of the season against Southern Utah and won the tightly contested meet by a score of 196.000 to 195.700. USU's score was its fifth best all-time score. The Aggies also recorded their second best all-time score on the floor with a 49.375. Freshman Alex Martin won the bars and the all-around, while teammate Liesel Kohler won the beam and floor.

LOOKING AT BRIGHAM YOUNG - The Cougars are currently ranked #25 in the country and are led by senior Kari Lords, who is currently ranked second in the country on the beam and 22nd in the all-around. BYU is coming off a second- place finish at the Cat Classic in Columbia, Mo. with a score of 196.125. BYU is coached by Brad Cattermole.

LOOKING AT SOUTHERN UTAH - The Thunderbirds are currently 4-2 on the year and have not competed since they faced the Aggies on Feb. 6. SUU is led by sophomore Rachel Tanner, who has set a career-high in three meets this season. Tanner is averaging 38.563 with a high of 38.700, which came against Cal State Fullerton. The Thunderbirds are coached by Scott Bauman, a former assistant to USU head coach Ray Corn, is in his 12th season as the coach of SUU.

HOW USU RANKS - Currently the Aggies are ranked second in the Western Gymnastics Conference and seventh in the North Central Region with an average of 194.262. USU ranks sixth in the North Central Region on the beam and seventh on the vault and floor. Grethchen Goerlitz ranks sixth in the region in the all-around, while Katie Rutherford ranks 15th on the beam.

2004 TEAM CAPTAINS - Juniors Rachel Ropelato and Katie Rutherford serve as captains for the 2004 squad. Rutherford was also a captain last year.

A TEAM WITH NO SENIORS - This year's roster is void of any seniors. USU will rely on three juniors, six sophomores, and four freshmen to carry them this season. FRESHMEN SHINING THIS SEASON - Alex Martin won the all-around and the bars competitions against Southern Utah (2/6)...Her 9.925 on the bars is the fifth best all-time... Martin finished tied for first on the bars and fifth in the all-around at California (1/30). At the Rocky Mountain Open(1/17), classmate Gretchen Goerlitz won the vault competition while two other Aggie freshmen contributed in their debuts for USU... Stacy Stewart placed fourth on the uneven bars with a score of 9.800 and Alex Martin placed fourth in the all-around scoring 38.350.

A LITTLE BANGED UP - USU is without three gymnasts due to injuries. Top-returnees from 2004, Meagan Nelson and Jessica Parenti, are not expected to return until at least halfway through the season. Nelson was an all-Western Gymnastics Conference team member in 2003, while Parenti was a second team honoree. Both finished 2003 ranked in the top 50. The Aggies are also without Courtney Arno due to injuries.

HEAD COACH RAY CORN - Utah State's Ray Corn (Northern Colorado '71) is in his 27th year as the Aggies' head coach. Corn's teams own a 350-221-2 regular-season meet record and have participated in postseason competition in 24 of his 26 seasons. Aggie squads have competed at national championship meets five times. Corn was named NCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year in 1991, was honored as High Country Athletic Conference Coach of the Year three times and selected Big West Conference Coach of the Year in 1994, 1996, 1998 and 2001. Corn's overall record, including postseason action, currently stands at 413-364-2.

A LOOK AT THE 2004 AGGIES - Courtney Arno- Will not compete this season due to injury... A freshman from Coppell. Texas... Was a Level 10 gymnast at the Colony Gymnastics Academy... Was state bar champion in 1997... Won the state championship on the beam and floor in 1998.

Ashley Barr - Her career-best 9.900 on the floor was good for a second place finish against Southern Utah (2/6)... Finished third on the bars and fourth on the floor at Boise State (2/2)... Scored 9.850 on the bars at California (1/23)... Placed fifth on the uneven bars with a score of 9.775 at the Rocky Mountain Open(1/17)... Scored a 9.850 on beam against last year against Southern Utah and BYU... Received academic All-America and academic all-Western Gymnastics Conference honors in 2003.

Gretchen Goerlitz - Tied for third on vault with a 9.775 against Southern Utah (2/6)... Competed in the all-around for the first time this season and scored a 38.975... Won the vault event (1/17) at the Rocky Mountain open with a score of 9.775... Was third on the vault (9.825), fourth on the floor (9.850), and tied for fifth on the beam (9.825) at Boise State (1/30)... Led USU on the floor with a score of 9.800 at California (1/23).

JESSICA (RANDS) KETTLE - Did not compete on the for the first time this season against Southern Utah... Scored a 9.675 at Boise State (1/30)... Scored a 9.700 against Southern Utah and BYU last year... Is one of nine returning letterwinners to the 2003 squad.

Liesel Kohler - Recorded a personal-bests on the floor (9.925) and the beam (9.900), while winning both events against Southern Utah (2/6)... Finished third on the beam (9.875), and tied for fourth on the floor scoring a 9.850 at Boise State (1/30)... Tied for fifth on the floor at California (1/23) with a score of 9.800... Scored a 9.900 on the floor last year against BYU... 2003 floor average of 9.839 is a USU record.

Rachael Mandy - Her 9.775 on the vault was good for a third place finish against Southern Utah (2/6)... Finished fourth on the vault tying her personal-best 9.800 at Boise State (1/30)...Her 9.800 at California (1/23) was a personal best and lead all USU gymnasts on the vault... Sophomore from Fargo, N.D... Tore her ACL in practice prior in December, and redshirted last season.

ALEX MARTIN - Had career meet against Southern Utah (2/6) by setting a career-best in every event except the vault including a 9.925 on the bars, a 9.900 on the floor, a 9.850 on the beam , and a 39.350 in the all-around... Her 9.925 on the bars is the fifth best all-time USU bars score...Won the bars and the all-around competitions... Tied for first on the bars (9.900) and placed fith in the all-around with a score of 38.750) at California (1/23)... Placed fourth in the all-around with a score of 38.350 in her debut at the Rocky Mountain Open (1/17).

Meagan Nelson - Will not participate this season due to an injury.. Received first team all-around all-Western gymnastics conference honors in 2003... Received academic All-American and honors.

Jessica Parenti - Will not participate this season due to injury...Was named to the all-Western Gymnastics Conference second team in bars, beam, and all-around in 2003... Earned Academic All-Western Gymnastics Conference.

Rachel Ropelato - Recorded a second place finish on the vault with a 9.800 against Southern Utah (2/6)... Finished second in the all-around competition with a score of 38.325 at Boise State (1/30)... Competed in the all-around competition with Alex Martin at California (1/23)... Tied for second on the vault with a score of 9.750 at the Rocky Mountain Open (1/17)... Career-high 9.900 on the bars came last year against BYU... One of the captains for the 2004 squad... Second team all-Western Gymnastics Conference on the vault in 2003.

Stacy Stewart - Career-best 9.850 against Southern Utah (2/6)... Tied for fifth on the beam scoring 9.825 at Boise State (1/30)... Placed fourth on the bars scoring 9.800 at the Rocky Mountain Open (1/17)... Is a freshman from Hyrum, Utah.

Katie Rutherford - Tied for fifth on the beam (9.825) at Boise State... (1/30)Placed fourth on both the beam (9.775) and vault (9.750) at the Rocky Mountain Open (1/17)... Co-captain with Rachel Ropelato... Was named to the 2002 all-Western Gymnastics Conference first team on the vault... One of nine letterwinners returning... Second conseutive year to be named co-captain.

Ashley Young - Set career highs on vault (9.650), beam (9.825), and floor (9.700) against Boise State in 2003.



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