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Utah State gymnastics: Aggies notch 15 career highs in close loss to San Jose State

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 11 2012 12:36 p.m. MST

LOGAN — A season-high score of 194.875, 15 career-highs and the second-best bars score in school history were just not quite enough for Utah State gymnastics to overtake San Jose State, which scored a 194.950 to nip the Aggies Friday night in a Western Athletic Conference dual at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, spoiling USU’s Think Pink night.

The Aggies and Spartans were both clad in their pink leotards for Think Pink Night to promote Breast Cancer Awareness.

Utah State's score of 194.875 was the highest team total under head coach Jeff Richards in his four years at the helm of the Aggie program.

USU, which entered the meet with the top bars average in the WAC with a 48.625, registered a season-high in the event with a 49.350, as all six gymnasts in the Aggies’ rotation set or tied their career-highs.

The 49.350 is the second-best bars' score in school history on the event, just shy of the school record of 49.425 in 2003.

SJSU was led by Thomasina Wallace, who won the all-around with a 39.525, bettering her school record that she broke last week, and notching the highest all-around score in the WAC this season.

Wallace entered the night leading the WAC with a 39.205 all-around average. In addition to winning the all-around, Wallace took top honors outright on vault with a 9.900 and floor with a 9.875, while sharing the titles on beam and bars with 9.875s on both.

Freshman Sarah Landes registered five of the Aggies’ 15 career bests on the night with her top all-around score of 39.350, scoring USU’s highest all-around score this season and the ninth-best all-around posting in school history, and tying for 13th on the Aggies’ top all-around list.

Landes also tied Wallace on beam with a 9.875, matching her career-high and posting USU’s highest score on the apparatus this season and the fourth-highest score in the Aggie record books.

On bars, Landes was one of four Aggies who were part of a five-way logjam for first with Wallace all with 9.875s. Senior Rebecca Holliday, junior Amelia Montoya, sophomore Paige Jones and Landes all posted their top marks of their careers with the 9.875 score, while freshman Kaitlyn Betts matched her top score of her career with a 9.850 to place sixth and junior Amanda Watamaniuk also notched her career-best score with a 9.825 to place seventh.

Jones was the top Aggie on vault with a 9.775 to finish second while Landes notched a career-best 9.750 for third. Holliday posted her top career score on beam with a 9.850 to tie for third and was joined in the career-high posting by freshman teammate Ashley Follet with a 9.750, good for a tie for sixth.

Freshman Susie Miller and Landes both recorded 9.850’s on floor and both were career-highs in tying for second, while Watamaniuk placed tied for fifth with a career-best 9.800.

In the all-around, Jones topped the 39.000 mark for the first time in her career with a 39.050, good for third while Holliday competed in the all-around for the first time since her freshman season of 2009, posting a 38.450 to place fifth.

Holliday had a fall on floor to spoil a possible career-night, as she posted two career-best scores in the meet with her win — sharing 9.875 on bars and tying for third on beam with a 9.850.

All four of the Aggies’ event scores were in the top three on the season, as USU also posted its season-best beam score with a 48.825, its second-best floor score with a 48.450 and its third-highest vault score with a 48.250, for the team total of 194.875.

The Spartans scored a 48.700 on vault, 48.925 on bars, 48.850 on beam and 48.475 on floor for their winning score of 194.950.

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