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Gymnasts fall short against No. 18 Denver despite strong scores

By Emily Duke
On February 22, 2014

Aggie fall to No. 18 Denver in “think pink” meet

Despite achieving several individual season best scores, Utah State gymnastics fell to No. 18 Denver Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in its “Think Pink” meet.

Donning pink leotards and ribbons to help raise awareness for cancer victims and survivors,
the Aggies stretched their 194-point scoring streak to six meets with a team score of 194.650, their second highest of the season.

“Girls and staff on the team have family members that are cancer survivors so it's a big thing, but we definitely just want to recognize anybody that's fought that battle,” said head coach Nadalie Walsh. “It can be a pretty hard battle but we just want to support everybody that is going through it or has survived it."

Utah State scored a 48.475 on vault, 48.900 on bars, 48.100 on beam and a season-high 49.175 on floor, receiving an overall score of 194.650. Denver notched a 49.000 on vault, 49.225 on bars, 48.825 on beam and a 48.825 on floor, giving the Pioneers a winning score of 195.875.

"This group of girls doesn't carry an event to the next rotation,” Walsh said. “They keep it within the event, we just need to be a little more mentally sure of ourselves so that if we have a mistake, it doesn't matter."

The Pioneers’ Moriah Martin claimed the all-around title with a score of 39.175. Junior Sarah Landes competed in the all-around for the Aggies, notching a 38.900.

The Aggies began the night with a shaky start on vault. Sophomore Jillian Chappel started off for Utah State with a 9.600. Jones stuck a 9.775, giving her the highest vault score for the Aggies.. Kerr finished off the first rotation with a 9.625, giving the Aggies a 48.475 overall.

Denver notched an early lead with a 49.225 on bars.

The Aggies moved to the bars where, junior Kaitlyn Betts scored a season-high 9.725. McIntire also scored a new career-high with a 9.825, as did Sophomore JoAnna Cuba who tied her career-best with a 9.750.

The Aggies finished the rotation with an overall bars score of 48.900. Denver notched a 49.000 on vault, leaving them with the lead going into the third rotation.

Utah State was led on the beam by Landes, who scored a season-high 9.800. Redshirt sophomore Breyanna Aufiero also received a personal best with a 9.775.

USU notched an overall score of 48.100 on the beam, while the Pioneers’ 48.825 on floor extended their lead.

The Aggies finished the night with a sweep on the floor exercise led by freshman Bailey McIntire, who scored a season best 9.9. Sophomore Miranda Kerr took the second place spot with a 9.875 and senior Paige Jones placed third with a 9.850.

"I'm proud of the way we finished,” Walsh said. “I feel like the girls went out on floor and did what they do in practice. They're very good at floor, but this is the first time they went out and did it to their fullest."

Twitter: @emily_seamqueen

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