Meet Notes: Utah State Gymnastics Returns to Logan to Host In-State Rival BYU Monday
March 3, 2013
BYU at Utah State Dee Glen Smith Spectrum (10,270) Logan, Utah Monday, March 4, 2013 - 7 p.m. (MT)
HOME SWEET HOME - After three weeks of road competition, Utah State gymnastics is back in the familiar hold of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. As the lone Monday meet of the year, action will get underway at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 4.
QUICK TURNAROUND - USU is ready for their second meet in four days. The Aggies returned to Logan on Saturday afternoon after competing in a Western Athletic Conference meet at Sacramento State on Friday evening. The team spent Sunday afternoon in practice, preparing for the quick turnaround and adjusting to lineup changes as a result of Friday's meet.
FAMILY NIGHT - For the Monday night meet, Utah State Athletics is hosting Family Night for the BYU meet. All fans are eligible to receive one free youth ticket with the purchase of an adult ticket.
ONE FOR THE BOOKS - The Worldwide Book Drive will be placing collection bins near the ticket office windows during Monday evening's competition. Fans who donate a book will receive $1 admission to the meet. The bins of donated books will be collected after the meet and distributed around the world, promoting literacy and education. In its eight years, the Worldwide Book Drive has collected and donated 3 million books.
TUNING IN - Live meet results will be available online through the "Live Stats" and "Watch Live" links on UtahStateAggies.com. Fans can also follow @USUGymnastics on Twitter for updated scores and information.
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
ABOUT BYU - BYU is coming off a tri-meet with in-state foe No. 8 Utah and North Carolina State. The Cougars finished in second-place with a score of 195.500. That was the team's second-best mark this season and the fourth time topping 195.000 this year. Utah came out on top with a 197.125 while North Carolina State finished third with a 194.675.
The Cougars are 8-7 on the season. They opened the 2013 campaign at the Cancun Classic, defeating Oregon State and falling to now-ranked No. 3 Michigan. The team has also recently competed against No. 1 Oklahoma in a Sooner-hosted quad meet. BYU finished third in that meet, falling to Oklahoma and Boise State while beating Texas Woman's with a score of 194.175.
BYU is led in all-around competition by junior Raquel Willman. She is averaging an overall score of 38.972, with her season-best coming in a dual-meet against Southern Utah where she notched a 39.200.
SERIES HISTORY - As both are in-state schools, BYU and Utah State have a long history of competition. Overall, the Cougars lead the series 65-39-1. Utah State has the home advantage (22-19), while BYU leads both from Provo (28-6-1) and at neutral competition sites (18-11).
HELLO AGAIN - As per tradition, Utah State and BYU gymnastics teams compete in a home-and-home series each season. The Aggies opened their 2013 campaign in a dual-meet in Provo. It was a rough meet for USU who scored 189. 425 to the Cougars' 194.075.
Last season, the Cougars came out on top both times. The meet in Provo, with Southern Utah, was a tight one as BYU finished first with a 194.100. The Thunderbirds were in second with 193.925 while the Aggies rounded it out with a 193.625. On BYU's return to the Dee Glen Spectrum, they again claimed the win, 195.525-193.675.
THE AGGIES' LAST TIME OUT - A hard-fought comeback in the final rotation wasn't quite enough for Utah State gymnastics Friday night as they fell to Sacramento State ,193.800-193.400, in a Western Athletic Conference meet.
Utah State scored a 48.200 on bars, 48.375 on vault, 48.350 on floor and 48.475 on beam.
Sophomore Sarah Landes and junior Paige Jones competed in the all-around competition Friday. Jones finished sharing the third-place spot with a score of 38.275. Landes finished second with a 39.075. Sacramento State's Kaliah McCartney took home the all-around title with a 39.225.
Along with her all-around finish, Landes walked away with her second vault title of the season, earning a 9.825. She also finished tied for third on bars with a 9.750 and in second-place on beam with a 9.800. Jones finished tied for second on vault with a 9.800. Freshman Stefanie Daley and sophomore Susie Miller shared the second-place spot on beam with a 9.750.
JOINING THE RANKS - The Troester/GymInfo rankings are updated each Monday, so the current rankings do not reflect the performance of the Aggies at Sacramento State.
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. 9 on bars and No. 10 on vault.
Many of the Aggie freshmen 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 - Continuing its homestand, Utah State gymnastics will conclude the regular season hosting Boise State in a WAC meet on Friday, March 15. The team will then head to Cedar City for the WAC Championship meet hosted by Southern Utah on Saturday, March 23.
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, claiming the titles against SUU and Hamline (39.125), at Southern Utah (39.200) and against Air Force (39.150). Additionally, she claimed the beam title against Southern Utah and Hamline (9.825) and the vault titles at San Jose State and Sacramento State with a career-best 9.875 and a 9.825 respectively.
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 who earned 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.