State gymnastics: SUU, BYU claim wins; Utah State finishes in middle

Published: Friday, Jan. 21 2011 10:00 p.m. MST

CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah swept each individual title on Friday night as the Thunderbirds scored a season-high 195.750 victory over the Sacramento State Hornets. The win leaves the T-Birds undefeated on the year at 3-0 and perfect in the Western Athletic Conference at 2-0.

"We looked extremely good tonight," head coach Scott Bauman said after the meet. "We had to battle with a few line-up changes, but I think the bar team looked incredible and the beam and floor teams were amazing."

SUU led start to finish during the meet as Lindsey Schultz got the team out to a quick start with a meet-best 9.800 on vault to claim the title. As a team, the Thunderbirds began the night with a 48.675 and steadily increased as the meet progressed. Sacramento State began the night on bars and struggled with two falls, trailing the home team with a 47.775 after the first rotation.

The T-Birds only competed five on the uneven bars with each gymnast: Ari Lamb, Caitlin Kennedy, Brooke Cersosimo, Lauren Jeffrey and Alyssa Click scoring a 9.775 or better. Kennedy and Cersosimo led the team with career-bests of 9.800 to share the individual title. Southern Utah's team score of 48.925 was the highest this season as the lead grew to almost two points after the second rotation, 97.600 to 95.975.

SUU broke through the 49-point barrier for the first time of the season during the third rotation as the T-Birds scored a 49.050 on beam. The feat was repeated on the final rotation as the Thunderbirds scored a 49.100 on floor. Sacramento State finished the night with a pair of 47's, scoring a 47.975 on floor and a 47.000 on beam for its final tally of 190.950.

Click and Lamb were the story on beam for the Thunderbirds as the duo scored matching 9.875's, marking career highs for both gymnasts as they shared the individual title. Sophomore Michaela Chernoch also tallied a career high, scoring a 9.775 to share third place with teammate Shannon Coughlin.

Coughlin saved her best for last, scoring a meet-high 9.900 on the floor exercise to capture her third consecutive floor title of the season. SUU gymnasts swept first through fourth on the event as Lindsey Schultz (9.875), Click (9.800) and Lamb (9.775) rounded out the top scores.

Lamb also claimed the all-around title with a career-high 39.100, matching Southern Utah's season-high set by Cersosimo last week against UCLA.

Southern Utah will be back in action next week when the Thunderbirds travel to Provo, Utah for a matinee meet at Brigham Young University. The T-Birds will join Iowa State and Utah State in the quad meet, scheduled to begin at Noon in the Smith Fieldhouse.

COUGARS COME BACK: at Cleveland, Ohio, The comeback Cougars have done it again as the BYU women's gymnastics team (6-1-1) came from behind to tie No. 9 Kent State in their quad-meet Friday night and to record a season-high team score of 194.775. The score tied KSU and George Washington came in third with a 190.775. In last place was Wisconsin-Oshkosh who finished with a team score of 181.775.

"We could've done better than we did," BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said following the meet, "But we kept competing to the very end and did what we had to do in the end."

Starting on beam for the third straight meet, the Cougars were led Krysten Koval once again as the junior finished with a 9.750. The up and coming generation of BYU gymnastics showed promise with two freshmen following closely behind Koval, as Megan Bain and Raquel Willman both finished with a 9.675.

"We had a great meet tonight," team captain Jessica Villegas said. "The best part is that we keep improving each meet which is what needs to happen for us to reach our goal of nationals. Good things are definitely happening."

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