Michaela Chernoch captured the floor title with a 9.875
SUU Strategic Communications

SUU Gymnastics Opens Season with a 193.300

January 13, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Jan. 13 - Southern Utah University gymnastics opened the 2012 season scoring a 193.300 on Friday night, but it wasn't enough as the Missouri Tigers handed the T-Birds a defeat after scoring a 195.525. The loss snapped a five-meet home opening winning streak for SUU.

The Thunderbirds began the night scoring a 48.925 on the vault, but then three consecutive falls on bars during he second rotation left the home team in a hole after scoring a 47.425 on the event.

"We had some mistakes on bars, but the girls were being aggressive so I'm not worked up about it," head coach Scott Bauman said after the meet. "If we are able to hit those routines this is a completely different meet. We'll be able to clean those things up and come out stronger next week."

Entering the meet Bauman's greatest concern was the vault lineup with five of six gymnasts competing on the event for the first time in their careers. However the anxiety was quickly cured as Caitlin Kennedy led off the rotation with a 9.800. Freshman Rochelle Bernier immediately followed and did even better, scoring a 9.825 to finish tied for third on the event. Fellow freshman, Brittney Jensen, tied Kennedy's mark with a 9.800 and was followed by Lauren Jeffrey and Michaela Chernoch rounding out the team score with a pair of 9.750's.

Following the first rotation, Southern Utah trailed Missouri after the Tigers finished on bars with a 49.100.

SUU opened its set on bars with back-to-back 9.750's from Jeffrey and Bernier, but three consecutive falls from the next three gymnasts allowed the Tigers to build a lead which they would not give up. The Thunderbirds finished the rotation with a 47.425 to the Tigers' 49.075 on vault.

The margin following the second rotation grew to 98.175 to 96.350 in Missouri's favor.

The Thunderbirds outscored the Tigers for the first time on the night during the third rotation as Click captured the individual title on the balance beam with a 9.875 to lead SUU to a 48.650 on the event. The mark tied a personal best for the junior as Jeffrey and Chernoch followed with a 9.725 and 9.700, respectively. Kennedy and Brooke Cersosimo rounded out the team score with matching 9.675's.

Missouri finished its third rotation on floor with a 48.450, its lowest score of the night , but maintained the lead 146.625 to 145.000.

Southern Utah wrapped up the night on floor and logged three 9.800's or better on the event with Chernoch taking the overall title with a 9.875. Click and Jensen were close behind with a 9.850 and a 9.800, respectively, with each score marking a new career best. Freshman Ana Jaworski (9.550) and Bernier (9.225) rounded out the team scoring of 48.300.

The Tigers punctuated the night with a 48.900 on beam to bring the final team score to a 195.525 to Southern Utah's 193.300.

MU's Mary Burke also captured the all-around title with a 39.175 and was followed by SUU's Click and Chernoch with totals 38.600 and 38.425, respectively, as the duo competed in the all-around for the first time in their career.

Southern Utah will be back in action next week when the Thunderbirds host Brigham Young University in the Centrum Arena. The meet is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. with live stats, live video and a real-time blog anticipated to be available online at www.suutbirds.com.