Utah State places third at BYU Tri Meet with season-high score of 194.750 – Cache Valley Daily

PROVO, Utah – Utah State’s gymnastics team showed improvement as it notched a season-high score of 194.750 at the BYU Tri Meet on Saturday night at the Marriott Center, but the No. 34 Aggies know there is still plenty of room to get better.

No. 5 UCLA (5-1) captured the tri meet with a season-high score of 197.425, while the host Cougars (4-2, 3-0 MRGC) ranked No. 15 in the nation, took second with a 195.875.

“We made improvements in some areas, and we let other areas go, so it was a little give and take happening,” said third-year USU head coach Amy Smith. “Obviously, I am happy to see the improvements we made, but then I am a little frustrated and disappointed to let some other things slide. We are a young team and we are going to figure it out. I am optimistic about what this team is going to do this season.”

Ten of the Aggies’ 24 routines on the night were from freshmen. Celebrating her 19th birthday Saturday, Sofi Sullivan reached the 9.900 plateau in just the second meet of her young career, doing so on beam to tie for second. Sullivan’s 9.900 on beam is tied for 15th all-time in school history.

Junior Autumn DeHarde also had a 9.900 on beam, marking the third time she has accomplished that feat in her career. As a team, Utah State (0-5, 0-3 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference) notched a season-high 48.850 on the event.

Junior Leighton Varnadore led the Aggies’ efforts on vault, their final event of the evening, as she recorded a career-high 9.850 to tie for second. Freshman Rebecca Wells tied for eighth with a 9.775, helping USU score a 48.825 on the event.

“We made some progress, like Amy said, but we are a lot better than that,” said Varnadore, who placed fifth in the all-around with a season-high 39.075. “We have a lot of girls that are coming back from injuries and getting back into it, especially the new ones, and they’ll help a lot. We have a lot of talent that you haven’t even seen yet.”

The Aggies opened the meet on bars with a 48.725. Sullivan and sophomore Grace Rojas tied for seventh with matching 9.800s, while senior Brittany Jeppesen tied for ninth with a 9.775. UCLA senior Kyla Ross, one of two former Olympians on the Bruins’ roster, along with Madison Kocian, won bars with a perfect 10.000 – the 22

Ross also placed first on vault (9.875), first on beam (9.975) and tied for second on floor (9.900) en route to capturing the all-around crown (39.750). Sullivan placed sixth in the all-around with a 38.750.

Utah State competed on floor in the third rotation and scored a 48.350. Varnadore tied for fifth with a 9.850, while DeHarde had a 9.825 to tie for ninth.

Utah State returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 25, when the Aggies travel to USAFA, Colo., to take on Air Force at 6 p.m., at the Cadet West Gym.

Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, on Facebook at Utah State Gymnastics, and on Instagram at USUGymnastics. Fans can also follow the USU athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at UtahStateAthletics. 

Utah State at BYU Tri Meet – Provo, Utah – Marriott Center – Jan. 18, 2020

Team Results: 1. UCLA – 197.425 (vault: 49.100, bars: 49.525, beam: 49.375, floor: 49.425); 2. BYU – 195.875 (vault: 48.800, bars: 48.850, beam: 49.025, floor: 49.200); 3.Utah State 194.750 (vault: 48.825, bars: 48.725, beam: 48.850, floor: 48.350).

Vault: 1 Kyla Ross – BYU, 9.875; T2. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.850; T2. Abbey Miner – BYU, 9.850; T2. Nia Dennis – UCLA, 9.850; T2. Felicia Hano – UCLA, 9.850; T8. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9.775; T10. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.750; T10. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.750; 14. Mikaela Meyer – USU, 9.700; T16. Grace Rojas – USU, 9.625.

Bars: 1. Kyla Ross – UCLA, 10.000; 2. Madison Kocian – UCLA, 9.950; 3. Margzetta Frazier – UCLA, 9.900; T7. Grace Rojas – USU, 9.800; T7. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.800; T9. Brittany Jeppesen – USU, 9.775; T13. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.700; T15. Jessica Gutierrez – USU, 9.650; 18. Maia Fishwick – USU, 9.000.

Beam: 1. Kyla Ross – UCLA, 9.975; T2. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.900; T2. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.900; T2. Helody Cyrenne – BYU, 9.900; T2. Samantha Sakti – UCLA, 9.900; 13. Taylor Dittmar – USU, 9.700; T14. Tori Loomis – USU, 9.675; T14. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.675; 17. Grace Rojas – USU, 9.450.

Floor: 1. Gracie Kramer – UCLA, 9.950; T2. Margzetta Frazier – UCLA, 9.900; T2. Kyla Ross – UCLA, 9.900; T5. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.850; T9. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.825; 14. Ariel Toomey – USU, 9.750; 16. Elle Golison – USU, 9.625; 17. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.300; 18. Hadley Hamar – USU, 8.950.

All-Around: 1. Kyla Ross – UCLA, 39.750; 2. Margzetta Frazier – UCLA, 39.400; 3. Abbey Miner – BYU, 39.375; 4. Abby Stainton – BYU, 39.175; 5. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 39.075; 6. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 38.750.


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