Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University gymnastics scored a season-high 195.425 en route to a victory over Utah State (194.200) on Friday night in the Thunderbirds' 2013 home opener. The win was paced by individual titles on bars, beam and floor for SUU in front of a home crowd of over 3,000.
"This was a great meet tonight," head coach Scott Bauman said. "Our crowd brings so much to our meets and our gymnasts just feed off of their energy. I'm proud of how we come out here tonight and competed."
The Thunderbirds led start-to-finish, scoring a 48.625 on vault and then scoring back-to-back season highs of 48.975 on bars and beam to extend the lead by more than half a point after three rotations.
Freshman Baylie Divino tied a personal-best of vault to tie with teammates Jamie Armijo and Rochelle Bernier on the event with each gymnasts posting a 9.750 to lead the T-Birds. Brittney Jensen and Caitlin Kennedy rounded out the team score with a 9.700 and 9.675, respectively. Ana Jaworski, competing for the first time on vault this season, scored a 9.600 with led to her career-best 38.800 in her first appearance in the the all-around in 2013.
Following the first rotation, Southern Utah had a lead of 48.625 to Utah State's 48.575.
Jaworski's 9.725 on the uneven bars set the base for the Thunderbirds' team score on that event with Bernier leading the way with a career-best 9.875. Michaela Chernoch (9.825) and Caitlin Kennedy (9.775) followed with freshman Arlyn Amor also recording a career-best 9.775 to wrap up the scoring for SUU.
The lead grew to 97.600 to 97.125 following the second rotation as the Thunderbirds moved to the balance beam. Utah State recorded its first individual title on the night during the second rotation with Kinzey Martinez scoring a 9.775 on vault.
Kennedy and freshman Natalie Trejo recorded Southern Utah's best finishes on beam, going one-two on the event with a 9.850 and a career-best 9.825, respectively. Another personal best from Bernier, a 9.800, and a 9.775 from Jaworski and 9.725 from Chernoch led to the season-best 48.975 for the T-Birds.
Southern Utah headed to the floor with a lead of 146.575 to USU's 145.950 and sealed the victory with a 48.850 showing during the rotation as the Aggies wrapped up the meet with a 48.250 on beam, having to count a fall.
The Flippin' Birds had three scores surpass the 9.800 threshold during the event with Chernoch on top with a 9.875, followed by Jensen with a 9.825 and Trejo with a 9.800. Jaworski punctuated her career night with a 9.700 and was followed by Armijo with a 9.650 to finish the scoring for Southern Utah.
Utah State captured first through third in the all-around, but Jaworski (38.800) and Kennedy (38.775) each finished the night with career highs, competing in all four events. Kennedy's score in the all-around has continued to improve in each of her three showings in the all-around this season, with Jaworski making the most of her first spot in the all-around this year.
Southern Utah will be back in action next Friday when the Thunderbirds host Denver University in a Western Athletic Conference clash. The meet is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m in the Centrum Arena with live stats and a live video feed anticipated to be available online at www.suutbirds.com.
For tickets, call the Centrum ticket box office at 435-586-7872 or visit www.tbirdtickets.com.
Fri. Feb. 28
@ San Jose State
(W) 195.925 -195.775
Mon. Feb. 24
vs. Brigham Young
(W) 195.600 -195.525
Fri. Feb. 21
@ Brigham Young
(W) 195.500 -195.375
Fri. Feb. 14
(W) 195.550 -195.450
Sat. Feb. 8
@ Denver w/ NC State
() 2nd, 195.700
Fri. Jan. 31
vs. Boise State
(W) 195.450 -195.250
Fri. Mar. 14
@ Utah State
Sat. Mar. 22
@ Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championship
Sat. Apr. 5
vs. NCAA Regionals