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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University gymnastics will face Utah State this weekend in the first of two back-to-back meets against the Aggies. The teams will take to the competition floor in Logan this weekend with a return trip to Cedar City scheduled for February 1.
“We are going to have to make some serious changes to our lineups this weekend,” head coach Scott Bauman said. “It will be a matter of giving certain gymnasts rest, but using them where we can.”
Southern Utah will enter the meet coming off a pair of losses to begin the season after scoring a 194.875 at UCLA and a 191.050 at the University of Utah. The Thunderbirds have also been bit by the injury bug with two-time conference champion and 2012 NCAA regional qualifier Alyssa Click out for the year with a knee injury.
Despite the setbacks, SUU is still a 194-196 team and will look to prove that this weekend when the meet begins at 7:00 p.m. in Logan. Fans can watch the meet via a paid video stream on utahstateaggies.com or by a free live stat feed online at www.suutbirds.com.
Scouting Utah State
Utah State will also enter the weekend looking for its first win of the season after defeats at Brigham Young and Boise State. The Aggies currently carry a team average of 190.338 with averages of 48.088 on vault, 47.825 on bars, 48.163 on beam and 46.263 on floor.
Individually, USU is led by Paige Jones on vault (9.738), Sarah Landes on bars (9.750) and floor (9.675) and JoAnna Cuba on beam (9.675).
Last Time Against Utah State
Southern Utah and Utah State met at the 2012 WAC Championships in Logan where the T-Birds finished third with a 195.025 and the Aggies fifth, scoring a 194.775.
Hamline University is a Division III institution located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Pipers have a team average of a 174.750 with averages of 45.133 on vault, 41.150 on bars, 43.933 on beam and 44.533 on floor.
HU is led by Kambria Blakely on vault with a season average of 9.317 and Courtney Benson on bars with an 8.925, beam with a 9.158 and floor with a 9.517.
Last Time Against Hamline
Southern Utah faced Hamline during the 2007 season at a quad meet with CS Fullerton and UC Davis. The Flippin’ Birds finished second at the meet with a 190.575 with Hamline finishing fourth with a 181.375.
Southern Utah had to count two falls on the balance beam, beginning the meet at Utah with a 46.675 and ultimately finishing fourth behind Utah (196.950), Oregon State (195.950) and West Virginia (192.125) with a 191.050. Senior Caitlin Kennedy tied her career high in the all-around with a 38.725, leading the Flippin’ Birds on bars and beam.
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.
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).
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.
Senior Michaela Chernoch is recovering from a high ankle sprain and is considered day-to-day.