Meet Notes: Three Gymnasts Set to Compete at NCAA Regional Championships
April 4, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
Utah State Gymnastics Three Individuals at NCAA Regional Championships St. John Arena (13,276) Columbus, Ohio Saturday, April 6, 4 p.m. (MT)
NCAA REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS - Utah State gymnastics will have three individuals competing in the 2013 NCAA Regional Championships in Columbus, Ohio, hosted by the Ohio State University. Action from St. John Arena will take place on Saturday, April 6 beginning at 4 p.m. (MT).
Junior Paige Jones and sophomore Sarah Landes will be competing in the all-around while freshman Stefanie Daley will compete on the balance beam. Jones and Landes each participated in the 2012 Championships while Jones also competed as a freshman. This will be the first regional appearance for Daley.
TUNING IN - Live meet results will be available online through the "Live Stats" and "Watch Live" links on UtahStateAggies.com that will redirect to Ohio State's website. The live stats will only work after competition has begun. Fans can also follow @USUGymnastics on Twitter for updated scores and information.
SOCIAL MEDIA - Fans can get live updates from the meet as well as other team information through the USU Twitter and Facebook pages - Twitter: www.twitter.com/USUGymnastics and Facebook: Utah State Gymnastics.
TICKET INFO - Aggie fans who wish to attend the Regional Championships can purchase tickets through Ohio State. Adult tickets are $10, while students, children and seniors (62+) are $8. Groups of 20 or more may purchase discounted tickets in advance for $5 apiece by contacting the Athletic Ticket Sales Office at 1-800-GOBUCKS or AthleticSales@osu.edu.
THE FIELD OF COMPETITION - The three Aggie gymnasts will be joined at Regionals by No. 6 UCLA, No. 7 LSU, No. 18 Arizona, No. 24 Central Michigan, North Carolina State and host No. 20 Ohio State. Air Force all-around competitors Linnaea Hance, Katie Hawthorne and Jennifer Larsen will also compete, while their teammate Jessica Wallender will join Daley as the other event specialist, competing on vault, bars and floor.
ROTATION ORDER - Paige Jones will rotate through the events with LSU, Sarah Landes will be with UCLA and Stefanie Daley will join North Carolina State. Landes will start the night on vault and Jones will be on a bye with bars up next. Daley will get her event over quickly, as North Carolina State is on beam for the first rotation.
USU NCAA REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY - This is the sixth year in a row that USU did not qualify for regionals as a team, but the Aggies have sent at least three individual competitors in each of the last six years. The last time Utah State qualified as a team was in 2007. Last season, Jones and Landes were two of three Aggies to compete, joining then-senior Rebecca Holliday. USU sent five competitors in 2011, three in 2010, five in 2009 and six in 2008. Utah State went to regionals as a team 21 times in 24 years from 1983-2007, including 17-straight times from 1986-2002. One of this year's three individuals will be trying to become the first national qualifier from USU since all-arounder Amber Jamison did in 1999.
ABOUT THE AGGIES - Paige Jones is a native of Smithville, Mo. and has an all-around Regional Qualifying Score of 38.845. She is averaging 38.614, posting her season-best of 39.100 against both Southern Utah on Feb. 1 and Boise State on March 15. She earned all-WAC first-team honors for her bars performance at the WAC Championships where she notched a career-best 9.900. She won the vault title at Sacramento State on March 1 with a 9.825 and tied for the win three other times. She also tied for the floor title against BYU with a 9.850. Jones competed in last season's NCAA Regionals at the University of Utah. She finished 20th in the all-around, posting an 8.700 on bars (42nd), an 8.050 on beam (42nd), a 9.200 on vault (41st) and a 9.450 floor (38th).
Sarah Landes, from Edmond, Okla., has an all-around RQS of 39.155, with a season-average of 38.989. She notched her season-high of 39.225 on March 15 in a home dual against Boise State, one of her eight scores of 39.000 or better this season. Landes earned second-team all-WAC honors by placing fourth in the all-around at the WAC Championships with a 39.175. Landes has four all-around wins this season, as well as one vault title. Landes finished 12th in the all-around at last year's NCAA Regional meet with an score of 38.325. She posted 9.775's on both floor (T22nd) and vault (T19th), along with 9.700 on bars (T16th) and 9.075 on beam (T40th).
Stefanie Daley came to USU from Springfield, Ore. She has been a beam specialist for the Aggies this season with an RQS of 9.785. She is averaging a 9.320 and earned her career-best 9.875 in a home dual-meet against Air Force on Feb. 8. Daley claimed the beam title twice this season, against Air Force and then in a tri-meet at San Jose State on Feb. 15. She finished tied for seventh on the apparatus at last weekend's WAC Championships with a 9.800.
THE AGGIES' LAST TIME OUT - With season-high scores on two events, Utah State gymnastics finished fourth at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in Cedar City, Utah on March 23 with a season-high score of 195.100.
Picked to finish last of six teams in the preseason polls, the Aggies had a solid meet with a season-best overall score of 195.100. The team also had season-high scores on bars with a 49.225 and beam with a 48.625. Several individuals also matched or set both career and season-bests throughout the evening.
Three Aggies ended the night earning all-WAC honors. Junior Paige Jones was named to the all-WAC first-team with a career-best 9.900 on bars. Freshman Michelle Yasukochi was named to the all-WAC second-team on beam after scoring a career-high 9.825. Sophomore Sarah Landes earned second-team all-WAC honors in the all-around for the second year in a row after notching a 39.175 as she finished tied for fourth overall.
Jones also competed in the all-around and finished seventh with a 39.075.
UP NEXT - The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors (who are not on an advancing team) from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships in Los Angeles, April 20-22, hosted by UCLA at Pauley Pavillion. In addition, the event winners at each regional site will advance to the national championships in their event if they are not part of a qualifying team or an all-around qualifier.
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). She also won the top spot in a home meet against BYU with a 39.175. 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). She tied for first-place on floor at home against BYU with a 9.850. Freshmen Stefanie Daley and Joanna Cuba have both taken home beam wins. Cuba earned 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.