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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Southern Utah University gymnastics will return to the NCAA Regionals as a team for the sixth time in seven years when the Thunderbirds compete at the Minneapolis Regional on Saturday night. SUU will enter the meet as the No. 5 seed after finishing the regular season ranked No. 26 in the national polls.
Southern Utah will be joined in Minneapolis by No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 11 Illinois, No. 14 and host Minnesota, No. 19 California and No. 31 San Jose State.
The Thunderbirds have only faced San Jose State this year, besting the Spartans on the road, 195.925-195.775. Freshmen Danielle Ramirez and Memory Shettles each picked up individual titles at the meet with first-place finishes on vault (Ramirez, 9.800) and bars (Ramirez, 9.875) and in the all-around (Shettles, 39.250).
The competition is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. (CT) and fans can follow the meet online with links for live stats and a video feed at www.suutbirds.com.
PROVO, Utah - March 22 - SUU gymnastics scored a season-high 196.125 in a third-place finish at the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championships on Saturday afternoon. The Thunderbirds were the only team at the championships to score a 49-plus on each event en route to its first 196-plus mark this season.
Last time at NCAA Regionals
NORMAN, Okla. - April 6, 2013 - SUU went a perfect 24-for-24 on Saturday afternoon, wrapping up the 2013 season with a fifth-place, 194.850 finish at the NCAA Regionals in Norman, Okla. Sophomore Jamie Armijo recorded the T-Birds top finish, third place on the uneven bars, narrowly missing a berth at the NCAA Championships by less than half a tenth.
NCAA Regional Reconnaissance
SUU has qualified for the NCAA regionals as a team in six of the past seven years.
Mountain Rim Freshman of the Year
Memory Shettles was named the 2014 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Co-Freshman of the Year, sharing the award with Boise State’s Diana Mejia.
Southern Utah competed against the same opponent in subsequent meets three times this year. SUU faced Boise State on Jan. 24/31, Denver on Feb. 8/14 and Brigham Young on Feb. 21/24. The Thunderbirds swept BYU during the back-to-back meets and split with Boise State and Denver.
SUU gymnasts had captured at least one individual title in each competition this season until that streak was snapped in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championship on March 22. Freshman Memory Shettles and senior Alyssa Click lead the way with seven individual titles this season.
Consecutive Titles - Continued
Click has captured at least one individual title for five consecutive years for Southern Utah. She finished first on balance beam in the 2013 opener at UCLA before suffering a season-ending knee injury the following week. In addition to leading the team this season, she also led the team with nine individual titles in 2012.
SUU split season series with Boise State and Denver, falling on the road in each meet, but coming out victorious at home.
SUU swept Brigham Young University in dual meets during the year with a win in Provo on Feb. 21 and a win in Cedar City in subsequent meets.
9.8’s are Great
Alyssa Click and Jamie Armijo have each scored at least a 9.800 or higher on bars in all but one meet this season.
Sydney Townsend is the only Thunderbird to have not fallen on the balance beam this season. Townsend appeared on beam against Boise State in her only competition on beam this season.
SUU has only had freshmen appear in the all-around this season. Tyly Bozzuto, Memory Shettles and Danielle Ramirez are the only Thunderbirds to have competed on all four events at a single meet this season. Bozzuto has scored back-to-back 39-plus marks in the all-around and Shettles holds the season-best mark of 39.250.
SUU broke a school record on bars this season with a 49.200 on the apparatus at San Jose State. The total helped the Thunderbirds post a season-high 195.925, at the time, and propelled the team to victory.
9.900’s Swept Under the Rug
SUU has recorded a 9.900 or higher on three of the four events this season. The only event that the Thunderbirds have not scored a 9.900 on this season is the floor exercise.
Southern Utah’s season highs include a 49.125 on vault, a 49.200 on bars, a 49.050 on beam and a 49.125 on the floor. The Thunderbirds’ top team score is a 196.125 recorded at the Mountain Rim Gymnastic Championship on March 22.