LOGAN — Southern Utah University gymnastics starts its defense of the Western Athletic Conference title when the team opens the season at Utah State on Friday night at 7 p.m.

The 20th-ranked Thunderbirds feature five seniors and three juniors. Bailey Pendley (formerly Baker) and Lindsey Schultz are included in those numbers and will bring five years of experience after both were awarded a fifth year of eligibility because of medical hardships.

Comment on this story

The Thunderbird roster also includes 2010 WAC Freshman of the Year Alyssa Click and the reigning WAC beam champion in fellow sophomore Caitlin Kennedy.

The Aggies return eight letter-winners from the 2010 team that recorded its best finish at the WAC Championships in five years, finishing third. The roster is highlighted by seniors and NCAA Regional qualifiers Lyndsie Boone and Jackie Dillion, who will also serve as team captains.

The meet on Friday will pit SUU head coach Scott Bauman against one of his former assistants in current USU head coach Jeff Richards. Richards coached with Bauman in Cedar City from 1991-98.