#28 Utah State Gymnastics Notes vs. #4 Utah
Liesel Kohler make a tough road trip to the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City this Friday at 7 p.m.
Liesel Kohler make a tough road trip to the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City this Friday at 7 p.m.

Feb. 24, 2004

LOGAN, Utah -

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#28 UTAH STATE vs. #4 UTAH Salt Lake City, Utah *Friday, Feb 27* 7:00 P.M. MST *Release #6*

THIS WEEK - #28 Utah State gymnastics will make its last road trip of the year to face #4 Utah in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

NEXT WEEKEND - The Aggies will return home for a rematch with California on Saturday, March 6 at 7 p.m. and will face Cal State Fullerton on Monday, March 8 at 7 p.m.

LAST WEEKEND - USU split its home meet with #10 Missouri and Boise State last Friday, defeating Boise State and falling short of Missouri's 196.350. The Aggies scored a 195.350, while Boise State finished with a 194.050. USU recorded its second-best floor performance in school history with a 49.475.

LOOKING AT UTAH - The Utes are ranked #4 nationally and scored a 196.850 against Arizona State (196.500) last Friday. Melissa Vituj scored a perfect 10.0 on the floor to lead Utah. Junior Annabeth Eberle was previously ranked fourth in the country in the all-around until an ankle injury forced her to miss the last meet and a half. Eberle is ranked third in the country and first in the North Central Region on the vault with a 9.958 average. Utah (6-1) is coached by Greg Marsden.

HOW USU RANKS - The rankings were calculated by Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) for the first time this season, and the Aggies fared well moving up four spots to #28 in the country. USU is ranked sixth in the North Central Region in every category and its victory against Boise State helped it keep its Western Gymnastics Conference lead. Liesel Kohler is currently leads the conference on the beam and floor. Kohler is ranked #9 on the beam and #15 on the floor in the North Central Region. Alex Martin leads the conference in the all-around and is #2 on bars. Martin is ranked #10 in the all-around and #11 on bars in the North Central Region

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) and also won the all-round at BYU (2/13)...Her 9.925 on the bars against Southern Utah 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 Brigham Young (2/13), classmate Gretchen Goerlitz placed second on the floor while setting a personal-best 9.925... Stacy Stewart set a personal-best (9.850) on bars at Southern Utah and set a personal-best on the floor at BYU with a 9.775.

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 415-366-2.

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 - Recorded a career-best on floor for the second time this season a 9.925 against Missouri and Boise State last Friday... Tied career-high (9.875) on bars as well which gave her a third-place finish... Her 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)... Received academic All-America and academic all-Western Gymnastics Conference honors in 2003.

Gretchen Goerlitz - Finished third in the all-around with a 38.975 against Missouri/Boise State... Recorded her best all-around performance at Southern Utah (2/16) with a 39.250...Recorded a career-best 9.925 on the floor at BYU (2/13) which was good for a third place finish... Won the vault event (1/17) at the Rocky Mountain Open with a score of 9.775.

JESSICA (RANDS) KETTLE - Recorded a 9.650 on the vault at BYU (2/13)... Scored a 9.675 at Boise State (1/30) on the vault... Recorded a career high 9.825 on the vault as a freshman against Boise State... Is one of nine returning letterwinners to the 2003 squad.

Liesel Kohler - Recorded a personal-best and second-best all-time USU floor performance with a 9.950 against Missouri/Boise State (2/20) while winning the event... Was named Coca-Cola Gymnast of the Meet (2/20)... Recorded personal-best 9.900 on the beam and a 9.925 on the floor, 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)... 2003 floor average of 9.839 is a USU record. Rachael Mandy - Scored a career-best 9.825 on the vault at BYU (2/13) which was good for a fifth-place finish... Her 9.775 on the vault was good for a third place finish against Southern Utah (2/6)... Finished fourth on the vault at Boise State (1/30)...Her 9.800 at California led 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 - Tied career-best floor performance (9.900) against Missouri/Boise State (2/20) while placing fourth on floor and second in the all-around... Won the all-around for the second time this season at BYU (2/13)... Named USU Athlete of the Week and Western Gymnastics Conference Gymnast of the Week for the week of Feb. 9-13... 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 against Southern Utah 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 fifth in the all-around with a score of 38.750 at California (1/23).

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 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 - Tied career-best floor score (9.875) against Missouri/Boise State... 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)... Tied for second on the vault with a score of 9.750 at the Rocky Mountain Open (1/17)... One of the captains for the 2004 squad... Second team all-Western Gymnastics Conference on the vault in 2003.

Stacy Stewart - Tied career-best floor score with a 9.775 against Boise State/Missouri... Finished fourth on bars with a career-best 9.850 at Southern Utah (2/19)... Career-best floor performance of 9.775 came at BYU (2/13)... 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 - Career-best vault (9.725) against Missouri/Boise State... Finished third on the bars with a 9.875 at BYU (2/13)... 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 consecutive 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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