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USU gymnastics: Aggies take fourth place in No. 13 Denver hosted quad meet

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23 2013 10:59 p.m. MST

A short-handed Utah State gymnastics team took on three competitors in a quad-meet at Western Athletic Conference rival No. 13 Denver on Saturday, finishing fourth with a score of 192.150.

In a last-minute decision, No. 17 Boise State was in the competition, joining the Aggies, Pioneers and Scarlet Knights of Rutgers University.

Utah State scored a 46.600 on beam, 48.150 on floor, 48.800 on vault and 48.600 on bars. Denver earned its winning total of 195.800 with a 49.175 on vault, 48.725 on bars, 48.850 on beam and 49.050 on floor. Boise State came in second with a 48.350 on floor, 49.050 on vault, 49.900 on bars and 48.125 on beam for a total of 194.525. Rutgers notched a 48.375 on bars, 48.050 on beam, 48.700 on floor and 48.800 on vault for its third-place finish of 193.925.

Junior Paige Jones and sophomore Sarah Landes participated in Saturday's all-around competition. Landes finished second with a 39.075 while Jones finished sixth with a 38.425. Denver's Moriah Martin claimed the all-around title with a 39.250 while Rutgers' Luisa Leal finished third with a 38.775.

Freshman Kinzey Martinez had a solid outing as proved in the final standings. She finished tied for second on vault with a career-high 9.900 and tied for third on bars with a 9.825. Jones was also among the top on bars, finishing tied for fifth with a 9.800.

The Aggies had a rough start on beam, having to count two falls. Sophomore Susie Miller got the ball rolling with a 9.500, followed by Jones who notched a 9.025. Freshman Michelle Yasukochi landed a 9.600 while Martinez notched an 8.775. Landes earned a 9.700 while freshman Stefanie Daley wrapped up the event with a 6.150 after two tough falls, giving the Aggies a total of 46.600.

After the first rotation, the Aggies had a ways to go to catch up. Denver led with a vault score of 49.175 while Rutgers notched a 48.375 on bars and Boise earned 48.350 on floor.

On floor for the second rotation, the Aggies had just five gymnasts competing. Having to count each score, freshman Destiny Ezell was up first with a 9.525. Miller followed, notching a 9.625 while Jones earned a 9.775. Landes landed a 9.775 while junior Christina Nye concluded the event with a 9.450.

At the mid-point of the meet, USU was still in fourth place with a total of 94.650. Denver hung on to its lead with a 97.900 with Boise State jumping to second place with a 97.300. Rutgers was in third with 96.425.

On vault for the third rotation, Miller was the first Aggie up, notching a 9.575. Ezell landed a 9.525 while Yasukochi hit a 9.675. Jones and Landes were next, both hitting a solid 9.825. Martinez finished off the vault with a career-best 9.900.

With a 48.800 on vault, the Aggies had a total score of 143.450. Denver stayed in front with a total of 146.700. The Broncos remained in second with 146.400 with the Scarlet Knights in third with 145.125.

Finishing the night on a high note on bars, Yasukochi led-off with a 9.650. Jones notched a 9.800 while Landes hit a 9.775. Martinez notched a 9.825 and Nye finished off the meet with a 9.550 for the second-best beam score of the season in a 48.600.

The Aggies are set to complete their road swing in a WAC dual-meet at Sacramento State on Friday, March 1. The team then has a quick turnaround as it returns home to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum to host in-state rival BYU on Monday, March 4 at 7 p.m.

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

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