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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University women’s gymnastics will open its 2013 campaign this weekend when the Flippin’ Birds travel to Los Angeles, Calif. to face the No. 2-ranked UCLA Bruins.
“We are going to have to have a great meet,” head coach Scott Bauman said. “UCLA is a great team and will be just as fired up as we are opening the season.”
SUU will begin 2013 with three consecutive road meets with stops at UCLA, Utah and Utah State during the month of January. The Thunderbirds will host their home opener on February 1, facing the Utah State Aggies for a second consecutive week.
Fans can follow the meet against UCLA via live stats that are anticipated to be available online at www.suutbirds.com. The meet is scheduled to begin at 3:00 p.m. (MT).
Last Time Against UCLA
SUU beat the No. 5-ranked Bruins in Cedar City in the 2011 home opener for the Thunderbirds, 194.750-194.425. A pair of T-Birds on the 2013 squad were a part of the victory with Michaela Chernoch scoring a 9.700 on beam and Caitlin Kennedy logging marks of 9.750 (VT), 9.650 (UB) and 9.725 (BB).
Youth is Served
Southern Utah University will only have three upper classmen on its roster this season, in seniors Caitlin Kennedy, Michaela Chernoch and Alyssa Click. The rest of the squad will be made up of five sophomores and six freshmen.
Alyssa Click will return in 2013 as the reigning Western Athletic Conference uneven bar champion. The title is the second consecutive conference championship for the senior after having taken the title in 2011 as well.
Southern Utah University earned its 12th academic national championship in 2012, claiming the title after carrying a team cumulative GPA of 3.843. SUU hasn’t finished any lower than third in the nation during head coach Scott Bauman’s tenure of 22 years.
SUU is 16-18 in season openers, dating back to the 1984-85 season. The mark includes a record of 9-5 at home and 7-13 on the road.
Southern Utah University will be the host of the 2013 Western Athletic Conference gymnastics championships on March 23.
Follow the Thunderbirds Online
SUU gymnastics fans can follow the team online at www.suutbirds.com, via facebook (facebook.com/Southern-Utah-Thunderbirds), on twitter (twitter.com/SUUThunderbirds) and via a real-time blog (for home meets only) in the preview article for each meet.
2013 WAC Preseason Poll
Southern Utah University was picked third in the WAC preseason coaches’ poll. SUU garnered 16 points, trailing Boise State with 25 points (five first-place votes) and Denver with 21 points and one first-place vote. Sacramento State (11 points), San Jose State (10 points) and Utah State (7 points) rounded out the list.
Head coach Scott Bauman
Scott Bauman is in his 22nd season as head coach of the SUU gymnastics program, coming to Cedar City from Utah State. During his tenure, SUU captured the Western Athletic Conference title in 2010 along with 12 academic national championships. Bauman also coached Southern Utah’s first All-American in Elise Wheeler to three All-American citations and has led the T-Birds to NCAA Regional appearances 17 times.