BOISE, Idaho – Brie Clark knows it’s all about getting on the same page. Once the Aggies do that, watch out.
Clark, Utah State’s freshman phenom from Daphne, Alabama, captured her sixth floor title of the season with a career-high-tying 9.950 to help the Aggies record a season-high 49.500 on the event, which is tied for second all-time in school history.
Unfortunately for No. 21 Utah State, it couldn’t overcome troubles on both vault and beam as No. 24 Boise State beat the Aggies 196.950-195.800 in a Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference dual meet Friday night at ExtraMile Arena.
“Once we find a rhythm and find what works, and keeps us all on the same page for all four events, once we figure that out, we’ll be set,” said Clark, whose 9.950 on floor is tied for third all-time in school history. “It’s just figuring that out, and I feel like we are slowly but surely making progress and getting through it and figuring it out.”
Clark is now tied for sixth with her six single-season floor titles.
Rebecca Wells won the all-around for the fourth time this season with a 38.500. The junior also tied for second on vault with a 9.850 and tied for seventh on bars with a career-high 9.825.
Opening the meet on bars, the Aggies (7-5, 3-3 MRGC) recorded a season-high 49.200. Brianna Brooks paced Utah State on the event as the sophomore placed second with a career-high-tying 9.900. Junior Jessica Gutierrez matched her career high with a 9.825 to tie for seventh, joining Wells, junior Maia Fishwick and freshman Molly Arnold, whose 9.825 proved to be a personal best.
“We finally showed up and settled in on the first event the way that we are supposed to,” said fifth-year Utah State head coach Amy Smith. “That is our best score of the season on bars. Some really great things happened there, and then obviously, it got away from us on vault a little bit.”
One of the great things that happened on bars for the Aggies was the return of Grace Rojas, who had yet to compete this season due to injury. The senior recorded a 9.850 in an exhibition performance on the event.
“Getting Grace back on bars, that’s been a long time coming,” Smith said. “We’re hoping to get her back in the mix on bars”
Utah State recorded a 48.650 on vault, with Wells being the only Aggie to score above a 9.800.
The Aggies were dialed in on floor in the third rotation. Prior to Clark’s 9.950, fellow freshman Trinity Brown notched a career-high 9.925, good enough for a second-place tie. Sophomore Eve Jackson also tallied a personal best with a 9.900 to tie for fourth, while Arnold got the party started with a 9.875.
“We finally got on the same page and got it clicking,” Clark said. “That was the best floor performance of the season so far, and I feel like we can go up from there, too. I’m chasing that 10, so it’s kind of like a race. I’m trying to get the 10, so I’ll keep working for it. My goal for this meet was to beat 9.925 or get around that range.”
Wells rounded out the Aggies’ five counting scores on floor with a 9.850, helping Utah State notch a 49.500 on the event for the first time since doing so against Ohio State on Feb. 28, 2003.
“We battled back from vault and had one of the most phenomenal floor rotations I’ve ever experienced during my time at Utah State, so that was really cool,” Smith said. “Then, we decided to throw it all away again. The good thing is we are showing that we’ve got the parts – really great parts. We’ve just got to figure out how to put it all together, so in that capacity, it’s a good thing. It’s going to be up to the girls to figure out how to bring their best when the best is needed, and that’s four rotations, one through six. I really believe we’re there. We just have to execute it.”
The Aggies, ranked 12th in the nation on beam coming into Friday’s meet, had to count a fall and finished with a 48.450 on the apparatus. Brooks, Clark, junior Sofi Sullivan and freshman Kielyn McCright all tied for third with matching 9.825s.
Boise State improved to 2-2 overall and 2-2 in the MRGC with the victory.
The Aggies return to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for a dual-meet weekend beginning on Friday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m., when they host both BYU and Towson. Utah State will then host Towson on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m., in a non-conference dual meet.
“We’ll for sure be getting in the gym this week and figuring it out,” Clark said. “We are so close, and I know that this team has so much to give. I can’t wait for the world to see it. It’s so close.”
For more information on the Utah State gymnastics program, follow the Aggies on Twitter at @USUGymnastics, on Facebook at UtahStateGymnastics and on Instagram at USUGymnastics.
No. 21 Utah State at No. 24 Boise State – Boise, Idaho – ExtraMile Arena – February 18, 2022
Team Results: 1. Boise State – 196.950 (vault: 49.100, bars: 49.450, beam: 49.200, floor: 49.200); 2. Utah State –195.800 (vault: 48.650, bars: 49.200, beam: 48.450, floor: 49.500).
Vault: 1. Alyssa Vulaj – BSU, 9.900; 2. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9.850; 3. Samantha Smith – BSU, 9.825 T6. Trinity Brown – USU, 9.775; T6. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.775; 10. Brie Clark – USU, 9.725; 11. Eve Jackson – USU, 9.525; 12. Molly Arnold – 9.500.
Bars: 1. Alexis Stokes – BSU, 9.975; 2. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.900; T3. Talia Little – BSU, 9.875; T3. Courtney Blackson – BSU, 9.875; T3. Emily Lopez – BSU, 9.875; T7. Jessica Gutierrez – USU, 9.825; T7. Rebecca Wells– USU, 9.825; T7. Molly Arnold – USU, 9.825; T7. Maia Fishwick – USU, 9.825; 11. Eve Jackson – USU, 9.775.
Beam: 1. Adriana Popp – BSU, 9.900; 2. Emily Lopez– BSU, 9.875; T3. Talia Little – BSU, 9.825; T3. Kielyn McCright – USU, 9.825; T3. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.825; T3. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.825; T3. Brie Clark – USU, 9.825; 11. Carley Bayles – USU, 9.150; 12. Rebecca Wells – USU, 8.975.
Floor: 1. Brie Clark – USU, 9.950; T2. Trinity Brown – USU, 9.925; T2. Courtney Blackson – BSU, 9.925; T4. Eve Jackson – USU, 9.900; 7. Molly Arnold, 9.875; 8. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9.850; 9. Jessica Gutierrez – USU, 9.800.
All-Around: 1. Rebecca Wells – USU, 38.500.