USU's Jones wins two events and all-around on Monday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, March 6 2012 12:00 p.m. MST

LOGAN — Sophomore Paige Jones shared the Utah State gymnastics Senior Night spotlight by winning two events plus the all-around on Monday night. BYU won the dual with a 195.525, in the Aggies’ final home regular-season meet at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

In USU’s last home tune-up before hosting the Western Athletic Conference championships on Saturday, March 24, Jones scored a career-high 39.200, topping the 39.000 mark for the second time in her career, and took top honors on vault with a 9.850. She notched the same score on bars to share the event win with BYU’s Raquel Willman.

Freshman Sarah Landes was second in the all-around with a 39.075, her fifth score of 39.000 or higher. Senior Rebecca Holliday notched a 37.900 in the all-around to place fourth, behind BYU’s Willman in third with a 38.775.

Holliday and fellow senior Haley Hogan were honored with a post-meet ceremony featuring USU athletics director Scott Barnes and head coach Jeff Richards, along with their parents.

On beam, Willman won the event with a 9.875, while teammates Krysten Koval and Jennifer Lezeu shared the floor title with 9.850s.

Landes was the top Aggie gymnast on beam, placing fourth with a 9.800, just ahead of Hogan’s career-best-tying 9.775, which was matched by freshman Ashley Follett, with a career-high, and BYU’s Koval for a three-way tie for fifth. Jones and Landes both posted 9.800s on floor to tie for third with BYU’s Mickell Merrell.

Utah State’s 193.675 total came from a 48.300 on vault, a 48.350 on bars, 48.275 on beam and 48.750 on floor. Both the Aggies’ beam and floor scores were their third-best on the respective events. BYU’s winning 195.525 resulted from a 48.575 on vault, 48.975 on bars, 49.050 on beam and 48.925 on floor.

The Aggies opened on vault with junior Amanda Watamaniuk leading off with a 9.525, followed by a 9.450 from Holliday. After a 9.475 by freshman Susie Miller, fellow freshman Kaitlyn Betts posted her career best with a 9.700. Landes then tied her career high with a 9.750. Jones then closed out the rotation with a 9.850, giving USU a 48.300 on vault. BYU notched a 48.975 on bars, led by a 9.850 by Willman, and had the first-rotation lead.

Swapping apparatuses, USU was on bars, again led by Watamaniuk, posting a 9.775. After a 9.250 by junior Amelia Montoya, Holliday hung a 9.750 on the board. Landes then landed a 9.725, before Jones posted a 9.850 before Betts rounded out the rotation with an 8.400, giving USU a 48.350 on bars.

The Aggies had a 96.650 at the meet’s midway point, while the Cougars extended their lead for a subtotal of 97.550 after recording a 48.975 on vault, led by 9.800s from both Willman and Natalie Eyre-Pickard.

On beam for rotation three, USU’s rotation kicked off with a career-best 9.775 from Follett. After a 9.225 from redshirt-freshman Samantha Wagner, Jones notched a career high 9.700. Hogan then tied her career best with a 9.775. After an 8.95 by Holliday, Landes completed the beam line-up with a 9.800 after a judge’s inquisition.

USU notched a 48.275 on beam, which is its third best of the season, while BYU scored a 48.925 on floor. After three rotations, the Cougars led, 146.475 to 144.925.

Like their first two rotations, the Aggies’ fourth and final rotation, floor, was led off by Watamaniuk, posting a 9.700, followed by Holliday with a 9.775. After a 9.700 by Montoya, Jones registered a 9.800. After a 9.675 from Miller, Landes completed the night with a 9.800. That gave USU a 48.750 on floor for a final score of 193.675. BYU sealed the win with a 49.050 on beam.

Utah State will have its third meet in seven days and second-straight against an in-state foe, heading to Cedar City, Utah, for a dual at Southern Utah on Friday at 7 p.m.

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