Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University scored a 196.200 to post victories over Iowa (195.025), San Jose State (194.250) and Ball State (193.575) in the team's regular season finale on Friday night. Senior Caitlin Kennedy capped her senior night with career bests in three events and two individual titles, including a 39.275 in the all-around to finish first.
Kennedy opened on vault with a career-best 9.850 to finish second overall on the event and lead the Thunderbirds. Rochelle Bernier was just behind with a 9.825 and was followed by a trio of 9.750's from Baylie Divino, Jamie Armijo and Brittney Jensen. SUU finished with a 48.925 to lead out of the gates as San Jose State opened on bars with a 48.825, Ball State began on floor with a 48.800 and Iowa struggled on beam with a 47.850 in its first rotation, counting a fall.
Kennedy led the Thunderbirds again on bars with a career-best 9.875 on the event, finishing third, as the team tied a school record with a 49.175 team total. Four of Southern Utah's five scores were a 9.825 or higher, including Kennedy's 9.875, two 9.850's from Bernier and Michaela Chernoch and a 9.825 from Armijo. Arlyn Amor picked up a 9.775 to round out the team score.
The performance gave Southern Utah (98,100) almost a one-point lead on its competitors with Ball State in second (97.275), San Jose State in third (97.150) and Iowa in fourth (96.650).
The Thunderbirds had the best performance of any team on beam during the night, taking first through fourth on the event with Kennedy, once again, leading the way with a season-best 9.850. Armijo was just behind with a career-best 9.825 and was matched by 9.825's from Natalie Trejo and Bernier. Southern Utah wrapped up its 49.075 with a pair of 9.750's from Jaworski and Chernoch, with Jaworski's counting towards the team score.
SUU's lead held through the third rotation with a team score of 147.175 to Ball State's 146.225, Iowa's 145.700 and San Jose State's 145.650.
Trejo and Jaworski opened floor for Southern Utah with a back-to-back career-best performances, scoring a 9.825 and 9.875, respectively, leading to a third-place finish for Jaworski on the event. Jensen echoed Trejo's 9.825, marking a season best for the sophomore, as Chernoch (9.800) and Kennedy (9.700) rounded out the team score of 49.025.
Iowa closed out the meet strong on bars, scoring the highest team score of the night, a 49.325, on the event to finish second with a 195.025. San Jose State also jumped ahead of Ball State during the rotation as the Cardinals fell three times on beam to finish with a 194.250 and 193.575, respectively.
Chernoch joined Kennedy with a 39-plus all-around total, finishing with a 39.075 to take fourth place.
Southern Utah will be back in action next weekend when the Thunderbirds host the Western Athletic Conference Gymnastics Championships in the Centrum Arena. The meet will have an earlier start time of 6:00 p.m. with live stat and live video links anticipated to be available online at www.suutbirds.com.
For tickets, contact the Centrum ticket box office at 435-586-7872 or go online to 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