Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University gymnastics will host its 2013 home opener on Friday night when the Thunderbirds face the Utah State Aggies.
The night will mark the second consecutive time in which the T-Birds and Aggies have squared off with SUU taking a 194.075 - 192.875 victory in Logan last weekend. The meet will also be a welcome to the road-traveled T-Birds who have opened the year with three consecutive road contests.
Southern Utah will enter with a great deal of momentum against the Aggies with a 26-1 record against Utah State in the last 27 meetings. USU’s lone victory during the stretch came in the teams’ last meet in Cedar City on March 9, 2012.
The competition on Friday night is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with live stats anticipated to be online at www.suutbirds.com. In addition, fans can watch a free video stream online at www.bigskytv.org.
Scouting Utah State
Utah State will enter the meet ranked No. 57 in the nation and averaging a 191.183 in its previous three meets.
The Aggies are led on vault and bars by Kinzey Martinez with matching 9.825 averages and on beam and floor by Sarah Landes with averages of 9.700 and 9.692, respectively.
Last Time Against Utah State
Southern Utah came from behind during the final rotation, scoring a season-high 48.925 on vault to take a 194.075-192.875 victory at Utah State on January 25.
Caitlin Kennedy recorded a career-high 38.750 in the all-around at the meet with Rochelle Bernier and Brittney Jensen also logging career bests on vault with a 9.900 and 9.825, respectively.
Utah State - Southern Utah Connections
The meet on Friday will have several university ties as SUU head coach Scott Bauman is a former assistant at Utah State and USU head coach Jeff Richards is a former assistant at Southern Utah.
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.
Fellow senior Caitlin Kennedy also captured the WAC beam title in 2010.
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.
Season Opening Success
SUU’s season-opening score of 194.875 at UCLA on January 6 is the highest season-opening mark in school history.
Rochelle Bernier was named the WAC Specialist of the Week (1/29) after scoring the top mark in the conference, a 9.900 on vault at Utah State.
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, on facebook (facebook.com/Southern-Utah-Thunderbirds), on twitter (twitter.com/SUUThunderbirds) and on youtube (SUU Athletics).
Watch Home Meets Live on BigSkyTV
Fans can also watch every home meet via a free video stream online at www.bigskytv.org.
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.
Flippin’ Birds is the secondary nickname for the SUU gymnastics team and can be used interchangeably with Thunderbirds or T-Birds.
2012 Quick Recap
Southern Utah missed out on a team regional appearance for the first time in five years last season as Alyssa Click represented the Thunderbirds as an individual competitor on beam. SUU finished third at the Western Athletic Conference championships with Click capturing an uneven bar title with a school-record 9.925.
Senior Alyssa Click injured her knee in practice on January 17 and will be out for the season.
Freshman vault specialist Virginia Brownsell is recovering from an elbow injury suffered during the month of December and could be available at the end of the season.
Freshman Kiki Parenteau is recovering from a lingering hip ailment and is anticipated to miss the 2013 season.
Fri. Feb. 20
@ Utah State
(W) 196.225 -195.025
Fri. Feb. 13
@ Brigham Young
(W) 195.500 -194.975
Fri. Feb. 6
vs. San Jose St.
(W) 195.375 -193.975
Mon. Feb. 2
vs. Ball State
(W) 194.800 -190.400
Fri. Jan. 30
vs. Brigham Young
(L) 195.650 -195.675
Fri. Jan. 23
@ Boise State
(L) 195.750 -196.725
Fri. Feb. 27
vs. Utah State & Denver
Fri. Mar. 6
vs. Arizona State
Fri. Mar. 13
vs. Boise State w/ California
Sat. Mar. 21
vs. Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championship
Sat. Apr. 4
vs. NCAA Regionals
Sat. Jan. 9
Fri. Jan. 15
Fri. Jan. 29
@ Utah State
Fri. Feb. 5
@ Boise State