Two event wins and the all-around title helped Utah State gymnastics to a second-place finish in a tri-meet against Southern Utah and Hamline University on Friday night.
The Aggies recorded a season-high 48.950 on vault, a season-best 48.625 on bars, 48.125 on beam and a 47.175 on floor for their final score of 192.875. The Thunderbirds posted a 48.375 on bars, 48.925 on vault, 48.600 on floor and 48.125 on floor for their winning total of 194.025. The Pipers had 46.350 on beam, 46.100 on floor, 47.175 on vault and 42.350 on bars for a final score of 181.975.
Sophomore Sarah Landes took home the all-around title with a total score and season-best mark of 39.125. SUU's Caitlin Kennedy finished in second place with a 38.750, while Aggie junior Paige Jones finished third with a 38.350.
Along with her all-around win, Landes claimed the balance beam win with a season-high 9.825. Freshman Stefanie Daley finished tied for second with a 9.800, for a new season-best, while freshman Hayley Sanzotti finished tied for fourth with a 9.750, tying her season-high. The Aggies also swept the top spots on bars with freshman Kinzey Martinez taking the win with a 9.825 in her first action of the season. Jones was second with a 9.800 for a new top mark of the season, while Landes captured third with a 9.775. Jones and Martinez tied for second on the vault with a 9.825, both notching new season-highs, while Landes took third on the floor with a 9.725 for another season-high.
The Aggies got the evening started with a season-high run on the vault. Sanzotti opened the rotation with a 9.600, followed by sophomore Kaitlyn Betts who landed a career-high 9.775. Freshman Michelle Yasukochi hit a 9.725, followed by Landes who scored a season-best 9.800. Jones scored a 9.825, while Martinez made her first appearance of the season, notching the same score.
After the first rotation, Utah State was in the lead with a total score of 48.950. Southern Utah was close behind, scoring 48.425 on bars, while Hamline notched a total of 46.350 on the balance beam.
Moving to bars for the second rotation, Yasukochi led off with a 9.125. Montoya made her season debut with a 9.700, followed by Betts who notched a 9.525. Landes earned a 9.725 for her performance, while Jones notched a 9.800. Martinez finished her night and the rotation with a 9.825, giving USU a total bars score of 48.625.
At the mid-point of the meet, the Aggies maintained their lead with an overall score of 97.575. SUU had a total of 96.550, while Hamline had 92.450.
Sanzotti was up first on the beam for the Aggies, notching a 9.750, followed by sophomore Susie Miller who scored a 9.125. Jones hit a 9.625, followed by Daley who set a new career-best with a 9.800. Landes notched a season-high 9.825, while freshman JoAnna Cuba wrapped up the event with an 8.600.
With a total of 48.125 on the beam, Utah State was in first place following the third rotation with an overall score of 145.700. The Thunderbirds were in second with 145.150, while the Pipers of Hamline were in third with 139.625.
Moving to floor for the final rotation, Miller got things started with a 9.100, followed by Ezell with a 9.525. Sanzotti landed a new career-best with a 9.700, while Jones notched a 9.100. Landes earned a season-best 9.725, while Montoya concluded the meet with a 9.125, giving the Aggies their second-place finish.
Next week, the Aggies and Thunderbirds meet again, this time at a Western Athletic Conference meet at SUU. Action from Cedar City begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1. The team will return to the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum on Friday, Feb. 8, when it hosts the Falcons of the Air Force Academy.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.