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USU gymnastics: Aggies notch season-high in fourth-place finish at WAC Championships Saturday

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 23 2013 11:20 p.m. MDT

With season-high scores on two events, Utah State gymnastics finished fourth at the Western Athletic Conference Championships in Cedar City, Utah, on Saturday with a season-high score of 195.100.

No. 23 Boise State won the WAC title with a score of 196.225, just topping No. 13 Denver which finished second with a 196.125. Sacramento State finished ahead of the Aggies with a 195.500, while Southern Utah notched 194.925 to finish fifth. San Jose State finished in sixth place with a 194.700.

Boise State swept the post-season awards after the meet. Caitlin Mann was named the Gymnast of the Year, while Maddie Krentz was named Freshman of the Year. Bronco co-head coaches Neil Resnick and Tina Bird were named Coaches of the Year.

Although they finished second overall, Denver gymnasts won three individual event titles. Kaitlin Moorhead won vault with a 9.950, while Nina McGee won the bars and floor titles with a 9.925 on each. Sacramento State's Cayla Beutler won the beam title with a 9.850. BSU’s Mann claimed the all-around title with a 39.475.

Picked to finish last in the preseason polls, the Aggies had a solid meet with a season-best overall score of 195.100. The team also had season-high scores on bars with a 49.225 and on beam with a 48.625. Several individuals also matched or set both career and season-bests throughout the evening.

Three Aggies ended the night earning all-WAC honors. Junior Paige Jones was named to the all-WAC first-team with a career-best 9.900 on bars. Freshman Michelle Yasukochi was named to the all-WAC second-team on beam after scoring a career-high 9.825. Sophomore Sarah Landes earned second-team all-WAC honors in the all-around for the second year in a row after notching a 39.175 as she finished tied for fourth overall.

Jones also competed in the all-around and finished seventh with a 39.075.

Utah State started the evening with a bye rotation, then began competition on the floor. Junior Christina Nye led off with a season-best 9.550, followed by senior Amelia Montoya who notched a 9.450 after stepping out of bounds. Freshman JoAnna Cuba registered a 9.125, while sophomore Susie Miller earned a 9.775. Landes notched a 9.750, while Jones concluded the rotation with a 9.825, contributing to the team final score of 48.350.

Moving to vault, Miller got things started with a 9.650, followed by Yasukochi who notched a career-best 9.775. Jones registered a 9.850, matching her season-high, while Landes landed a 9.800. Sophomore Kaitlyn Betts earned a 9.825 to close out the event, giving the team an event score of 48.900.

After another bye rotation, the Aggies came back strong on bars. Yasukochi and Nye each set new career-highs, earning a 9.800 and a 9.850, respectively. Montoya followed, matching her season-best with a 9.750, while Landes stuck a season-high 9.850. Jones kept up the momentum with a career-best 9.900. Betts finished the rotation with a 9.825, giving the Aggies a season-best bar score of 49.225.

The Aggies moved to beam for the final rotation of the night with Miller at the helm, notching a 9.725. Jones followed, landing a 9.500, and Yasukochi stuck a career-high 9.825. Freshman Stefanie Daley registered a 9.800, while Landes notched a 9.775. Cuba wrapped up the event and the meet with a 9.475, giving the team another season-best with a 48.625.

The participants, as well as the location of competition for the NCAA North Central Regionals Championships, will be announced Monday, March 25.

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

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