Gymnasts Hit the Road for Southern Utah

BOISE, Idaho
Looking to improve its chances for a 21st consecutive appearance at the NCAA Regional Championships, the Boise State University gymnastics team is hitting the road for a dual meet with the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah University, Friday.

The meet, held at The Centrum in Cedar City, Utah, is slated to begin at 7:00 p.m. The site will also host the Western Athletic Conference Championships, March 31.

“We’re excited to get another chance to improve our score,” head coach Sam Sandmire said. “We’re also excited to see another WAC opponent. They have a great coach, and I’m sure they will be ready, but we will be ready, too.”

Last Time Out...
For the first time in Boise State University history, the nation’s top-ranked gymnastics team competed at the Taco Bell Arena, March 11, and it was the No. 1 team that left with the win, as the University of Florida posted a 197.250-191.275 dual victory over the Broncos.

The Gators, currently ranked No. 2 by GymInfo and the nation’s only undefeated team, improved to 13-0-1 on the season, while the Broncos fell to 6-10.

Although they competed only five individuals the Broncos got off to a great start on vault, posting a 48.825, their third-highest score of the season. Senior Kristin Aldrich and freshman DeAvera Todd each finished tied for second with a 9.850. The mark was a career high for Aldrich. Also setting a career high was freshman Ruthie Pennington, who scored a 9.800.

Boise State was led on bars by freshman Yvette Leizorek and junior Katie Griffis, who each scored a 9.675. Freshman Katelyn O'Donnell posted the squad’s top beam score with a mark of 9.725. On floor, Aldrich notched a 9.750 to lead the team.

RQS Watch...
With the Florida meet, the Broncos improved their regional qualifying score (RQS) from 191.885 to 192.010. Though their RQS improved, their standing in the region dropped from seventh to ninth.

“It’s a tight race, and to quote Yogi Berra, it aint over till it’s over,” Sandmire said. “We have three meets left, and that is half of the six scores that you need in your RQS. Everyone on this team is continuing to improve every week, so we believe we have a chance to qualify as a team.”

The Thunderbirds...
Southern Utah and San Jose State University swapped leads during the first three rotations, but the Thunderbirds sealed a 193.675-193.175 victory with a strong performance in the final rotation, March 9, at The Centrum.

Highlighting the Thunderbirds’ evening was freshman Elise Wheeler, who tied a school record with a 9.900 on bars.

Series History...
Southern Utah visited Boise earlier this season, and left with a 193.200-192.975 defeat at the hands of the Broncos. The victory evened the series mark at 13-13 since 1990, with the Broncos winning each of the last three meetings. The last time the Thunderbirds were victorious was March 25, 2005, at the Western Gymnastics Conference Championships.

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