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USU gymnastics: Aggies get back on track with win over Air Force on Friday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, Feb. 8 2013 10:38 p.m. MST

Claiming all but one event title, Utah State gymnastics earned its second win of the season, coming out ahead of Air Force Academy, 193.575-193.200.

The Aggies recorded a 48.825 on vault, 48.150 on bars, 48.275 on beam and 48.325 on beam. The Falcons notched a 48.550 on bars, 47.950 on vault, 48.700 on floor and 48.000 on beam.

For the third week in a row, sophomore Sarah Landes won the all-around competition with a score of 39.150. Air Force's Katie Hawthorne took second place with a 38.675 with Jessica Hanner finishing third with a 38.575. Freshman Hayley Sanzotti finished fourth with a 38.500, while junior Paige Jones finished seventh with a 37.900.

Landes and Jones tied for the No. 1 spot on vault with scores of 9.850. Freshman Kinzey Martinez notched a 9.800, securing third place. For the third week in a row, Martinez claimed an event win, finishing first on bars with a 9.775. Landes was part of a three-way tie for second on bars with a 9.750. Aggie freshman Stefanie Daley claimed her first event title with a win on beam with her career-best 9.875, while Landes finished second with a 9.800. Additionally, Landes took second place on floor with a 9.750.

Utah State started the evening on vault with Sanzotti up first, notching a 9.500. Freshman Destiny Ezell followed with a 9.600, while freshman Michelle Yasukochi hit a 9.725. Landes set a new career-best with a 9.850, followed by Jones who stuck a season-best 9.850. Martinez finished off the first event with a 9.800.

The Aggies earned their second-highest vault score of the season with a 48.825, putting them in the lead after the first rotation. The Falcons notched an overall score of 48.550 on bars.

Moving to bars, senior Amelia Montoya was first up, notching a 9.375. Sanzotti followed, hitting a 9.700, while Yasukochi earned a 9.550. Landes landed a 9.750 followed by Jones who suffered a fall and earned an 8.725. Martinez was the last official score on bars with a 9.775. Working her way back from an injury, junior Christina Nye gave an exhibition performance, earning a. 8.335.

At the midpoint of the meet, the Aggies kept the No. 1 spot with an overall 48.150 on bars for a total score of 96.975. USAFA had 47.950 on vault, making their total score 96.500.

For the third event of the night, the Aggies were on beam where Sanzotti got things started with a 9.725. Sophomore Susie Miller made her first appearance of the night, earning an 8.950, followed by Jones who notched a 9.600. Daley hit a career-high and team season-best 9.875, followed by Landes who earned a 9.800. Freshman JoAnna Cuba wrapped up the balance beam with a 9.275.

After three rotations, the Aggies were clinging on to their lead with an overall score of 145.250 after scoring 48.275 on the beam. The Falcons had a total score of 145.200 after a 48.700 on floor.

To wrap up the meet, USU moved to the floor where Ezell got things started with a 9.575. Miller followed, landing a 9.700, while Sanzotti notched a 9.575. Jones earned a 9.725, while Landes hit a 9.750. Montoya concluded the event and the meet with a 9.275.

The Aggies are back on the road next weekend, starting their longest road trip of the season. First up is a tri-meet at San Jose State on Friday, Feb. 15, when USU will take on WAC-rival SJSU as well as Brown University. The trip will continue with a quad-meet in Denver on Feb. 23, then back to California for a dual-meet at Sacramento State on March 1.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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