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Landes, Jones, Sanzotti complete 1-2-3 sweep

staff writer

Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 13:02

 

USU’s gymnastics team competed in Cedar City on Friday and ultimately fell to Southern Utah University despite recording a season-high score.

The Aggies fell to the Thunderbirds 195.425-194.200.

Despite the loss, freshman Hayley Sanzotti said the team’s confidence is high.

“I feel like I had a really good meet, best one I’ve had all season,” Sanzotti said. “I feel really confident. We had our season-high, which was awesome.”

The team was unusually calm during warm ups, which was different from the beginning of past meets.

“It was kind of weird,” said head coach Jeff Richards. “At first, warm ups, it was kind of like eerily calm. It was crazy. I was a little bit worried. They were looking calm and pretty confident. I was nervous.”

Despite the loss and the unusual beginning, Richards said he is happy with the outcome.

“We had some really good events,” Richards said. “I don’t think the scores show how well we did in vault. I was really impressed with their vault. We faulted a bit on bars.”

The Aggies swept the all-around titles with sophomore Sarah Landes in the first position, junior Paige Jones in second and freshman Hayley Sanzotti in third.

“It was really good to see three of our kids do one-two-three in the all around,” Richards said.

Richards said he has seen a few specific girls step up this season and work hard for good scores during the meets.

“Paige and Sarah are work horses,” Richards said. “Sarah is very talented and kind of fights a few demons with herself on the beam. Paige is the same. As a freshman and sophomore she worked hard and outworked herself. She’d get on the floor and second guess herself. This year she’s confident, not second guessing herself.”

Jones and Landes have taken top titles at all four of this season’s meets.

“This is my highest all around score this year,” Landes said. “It felt really good. I was comfortable, calm and relaxed.”

Landes knows the importance of keeping calm during her performance and learned this during her freshman year last season.

“For me personally I feel like this being my second year, I know what to expect,” Landes said. “I know to go out there and do what I know how to do. It keeps me calm and confident in my head. As a team, everyone’s starting really competing.”

With four meets done, the Aggies are optimistic about how they’ve performed and are eager to move forward.

“I thought the meet went really good,” Landes said. “Our team rallied for this meet. We have a word of the week. A word that we’ve really been focusing on is rally and coming together as a team. We really showed that we rallied together. There are still things we need to work on. Overall we did really good, I’m really proud of the girls. I thought it was really good, I’m really proud of everybody.”

The Aggies will have a full week of practices before hosting Air Force on Friday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.

 

– daniellekmanley@gmail.com

Twitter: @daniellekmanley

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