Feb. 27, 2013
Utah State at Sacramento State The Nest (1,200) Sacramento, Calif. Friday, March 1, 2013 - 8 p.m. (MT)
ON THE ROAD AGAIN - For the third week in a row, Utah State gymnastics is on the road for their weekend competition. The Aggies are set to take on Sacramento State in a Western Athletic Conference meet on Friday, March 1. Action will get underway at 8 p.m. (MT) from the Nest on the Hornet's campus.
TUNING IN - Live meet results will be available online through the "Live Stats" link on UtahStateAggies.com that will redirect to Sacramento State's website. There will not be a video feed available for this week's competition. Fans can also follow @USUGymnastics on Twitter for updated scores and information.
ABOUT SACRAMENTO STATE - The Hornets are 3-9 on the season with a 1-1 WAC record. The team is averaging a score of 193.829 with a Regional Qualifying Score of 194.090, putting them at No. 40 in the Troester/Gym Info rankings. The team's high score came at a dual-meet at Southern Utah, where the Hornets lost with a score of 195.250.
Sacramento State is led by sophomore Kalliah McCartney. As one of two Hornet all-around competitors, she has an RQS of 39.175, making her No. 20 in the national rankings. She is the WAC leader in both the all-around and on beam. Freshman Cassie Benning is third in the WAC in all-around (38.780), as well as tied for seventh-place on floor (9.830).
The Hornets are coached by veteran coach Kim Hughes. He is in his 31st year at the helm of Sacramento State gymnastics. He has coached the team to four conference titles as well as multiple Regionals appearances.
SERIES HISTORY - As WAC rivals, the Aggies and Hornets meet on a consistent basis. Overall, Sacramento State leads the series, 12-7. The two schools competed twice in the 2012 season, both times at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The first meeting was a part of the regular season where the Aggies came out ahead, 193.875. The Hornets then returned to Logan for the WAC Championship meet. While Denver claimed the title with a 196.350, less than one point separated the remaining four schools. Sacramento State finished second with a 195.675, while Utah State finished fifth with a 194.775.
SIZING UP THE WAC - The weekend action between Utah State and Sacramento State will count toward the WAC standings. Utah State is in sixth-place overall in the league, while CSU-S is in fourth-place. USU holds the No. 5 spot in vault, bars and beam and is No. 6 on floor. The Hornets are No. 4 on vault and bars, No. 6 on beam and No. 2 on floor.
The Denver Pioneers are leading the WAC overall as well as in each individual event.
THE LAST TIME OUT - A short-handed Utah State gymnastics team took on three competitors in a quad-meet at Western Athletic Conference rival No. 13 Denver on Saturday, finishing fourth with a score of 192.150.
Utah State scored a 46.600 on beam, 48.150 on floor, 48.800 on vault and 48.600 on bars.
Junior Paige Jones and sophomore Sarah Landes participated in Saturday's all-around competition. Landes finished second with a 39.075 while Jones finished sixth with a 38.425. Denver's Moriah Martin claimed the all-around title with a 39.250 while Rutgers' Luisa Leal finished third with a 38.775.
Freshman Kinzey Martinez had a solid outing as proved in the final standings. She finished tied for second on vault with a career-high 9.900 and tied for third on bars with a 9.825. Jones was also among the top on bars, finishing tied for fifth with a 9.800.
BACK TO THE OLD STOMPING GROUNDS - Aggie assistant coach Jamie Donkin came to Utah State this season after nine years at Sacramento State. She was a part of the gymnastics team in 2003 before working as a student assistant and graduate assistant. In 2009 she was named a full-time assistant coach as the beam coach and floor choreographer.
Donkin graduated from CSU-S in with both bachelor's and master's degrees in exercise science in 2006 and 2011, respectively.
Aggie sophomore Susie Miller hails from Fair Oaks, California, just 20 miles outside of Sacramento. She graduated from Bella Vista High School and competed at Technique Gymnastics.
MONTOYA VS. MONTOYA - Friday's meet will include a match-up between two sisters. Aggie senior Amelia Montoya has a younger sister who competes for Sacramento State. Junior Maddie Montoya has battled injuries throughout her career and has not competed yet this season.
JOINING THE RANKS - This is the first week of the season that gymnastics rankings are based on the Regional Qualifying Scores. Qualification for regional competition is based on a team's and an all-around competitor's six best regular-season-meet scores, of which three must be away. To obtain the RQS, the high score is eliminated and the remaining five scores are averaged.
Overall, the switch had a significant effect on all rankings, both as a team and among individuals. However, for the second week in a row, Utah State is holding strong at No. 53 in the Troester/GymInfo Rankings.
Junior Paige Jones and sophomore Sarah Landes are the two Aggies ranked in the top 100 nationally. The duo holds spots among the best in all-around competition as Landes is at No. 32 with an RQS of 38.860 and Jones at No. 54 with an RQS of 38.540.
Additionally, Landes and Jones are making a solid showing in both the North Central region and the WAC. Both are in the top 50 among the region in all five areas. Landes is second in the WAC in all-around, No. 9 on bars and No. 10 on beam. Jones is fifth in the league overall, No. 10 on vault and No. 9 on bars.
Many of the Aggie freshman are among the top 50 regionally in their individual events. Destiny Ezell is at No. 43 on vault and No. 44 on floor while Michelle Yasukochi is at No. 35 on vault and No. 46 on bars. Hayley Sanzotti is recovering from an injury but holds the No. 30 position on beam while Stefanie Daley is at No. 36 on the same event. Sophomore Susie Miller rounds out the USU rankings as she is tied for No. 46 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 have a quick turnaround this weekend as they return home after Friday's meet to host in-state rival BYU. Action between USU and the Cougars will get underway at 7 p.m. at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The team will conclude the regular season hosting Boise State in a WAC meet on Friday, March 15 before heading to Cedar City for the WAC Championship meet on Saturday, March 23.
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.
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER - So far this season, five Aggies have won event titles in three events as well as the all-around.
Sophomore Sarah Landes won the all-around competition for three meets in a row, averaging a total score of 39.158. Additionally, she claimed the beam title against Southern Utah and Hamline (9.825) and the vault title at San Jose State with a career-best 9.875.
Freshman Kinzey Martinez did not compete in the first two meets of the season, but has since won an event title in every meet. She made her Aggie debut with a win on the bars, setting her personal best at 9.825 against Southern Utah with Hamline. She followed that with a vault win at Southern Utah (9.775). She again won the bars titles both against Air Force (9.775) and at San Jose State with Brown (9.875).
Junior Paige Jones has tied for the vault title twice, both at BYU (9.750) and against Air Force (9.850). Freshmen Stefanie Daley and Joanna Cuba have both taken home beam wins. Cuba had the title at Boise State (9.825) while Daley won against Air Force (9.875) and tied for the title at San Jose State with Brown (9.850).
TURNING MORE THAN JUST CARTWHEELS - Utah State has 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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