FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – An afternoon of mixed performances made for a tough competition for Utah State gymnastics at the NCAA Regional Championships in Fayetteville, Ark., Saturday afternoon, where the fifth-seeded Aggies finished sixth with a score of 191.875.
With the top seed and the fifth-place rank nationally, the University of Utah won Saturday’s meet with a 197.300. No. 8 UCLA finished second with a 196.600, just ahead of host No. 17 Arkansas who notched a 196.025. No. 24 Arizona State finished fourth with a 194.425, while No. 34 UC Davis finished fifth with a 193.725.
With their finishes, Utah and UCLA will advance to the NCAA Championships scheduled for April 18-20 in Birmingham, Ala.
Utah State notched a 48.725 on vault, 46.300 on bars, 47.775 on beam and 49.075 on floor.
Freshman Bailey McIntire continued to show power and consistency in her floor routine, notching a 9.875, putting her in a three-way tie for fourth-place. Additionally, she and junior Sarah Landes were part of a five-way tie for sixth on vault as they each notched a 9.800. Sophomore Michelle Yasukochi finished seventh on beam, notching a 9.775.
Landes was the sole all-around competitor for the Aggies as she finished eighth with a 38.350. UCLA’s Samantha Peszek won the all-around with a 39.700.
Utah State had a rough start to the meet, opening on bars where McIntire led-off with a 9.150. Sophomore JoAnna Cuba notched a 9.250, followed by Landes who earned a 9.500. Senior Paige Jones notched a 9.350, while freshman Charly Belliston earned a 9.050. Junior Kaitlyn Betts finished the first rotation with an 8.975, giving the Aggies a season-low event score of 46.300.
It was an uphill battle as the Aggies moved to beam. Freshman Katie Brown opened with a 9.425, while Belliston notched a 9.675. Junior Susie Miller earned a 9.075, followed by Landes who notched a 9.250. Sophomore Stefanie Daley earned a 9.650, while Yasukochi wrapped up the rotation with a 9.775. Overall, USU notched a team beam score of 47.775, for a total of 94.075 at the mid-point of their competition.
The Aggies sat out the third rotation on a bye before moving to floor for the fourth rotation where things started to look up. Miller started the event with a 9.825, while Landes landed a 9.800. Sophomore Destiny Ezell notched a 9.725, followed by Jones who hit a 9.850. McIntire secured a 9.875, while sophomore Miranda Kerr concluded the event with a 9.050. With one event left, the Aggies had a total score of 143.150, having notched a 49.075 on floor.
With one event and two rotations to go, Utah State moved to vault. Sophomore Jillian Chappel landed a 9.750, followed by McIntire who notched a 9.800. Brown landed a 9.700, while Landes hit a 9.800. Jones gave the last performance of her collegiate career, notching a 9.650 and Kerr finished with a 9.675. The Aggies scored a 48.725 on vault before sitting out the final rotation of the meet.
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