LOGAN, Utah – No. 14 Utah State gymnastics celebrated its seniors on Friday night, but it was a junior that stole the show.
Rebecca Wells won the all-around and tied for first on two other events to help the Aggies notch a 196.225 against No. 12 BYU and No. 23 Towson in front of 2,030 fans at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum. The Cougars won the meet with a 196.575, while the Tigers placed third with a 195.600.
The 196.225 recorded by the Aggies is tied for the ninth-best home score in program history.
At the conclusion of the meet, Utah State honor its three seniors in Carley Bayles (BB), Anique Grenier (UB) and Grace Rojas (VT/UB/BB). Bayles tied for fifth on beam with a 9.850, while Rojas tied for 10th on bars with a 9.750. Grenier performed an exhibition routine on bars.
“I’m super proud of the seniors,” Wells said. “It’s been a really great experience for them to be our leaders this year. They’ve been great supporters and great leaders for this team, and I’m so sad that they’re leaving.”
Wells finished with a career-high 39.475 in the all-around, a score that is tied for sixth all-time in program history. She now has five all-around titles this year, which is tied for seventh in single-season school history.
“She is such a stud, and it’s so cool because with this being her junior year and finally coming into the all-around, is great,” said fifth-year Utah State head coach Amy Smith. “Obviously, she did it last year for the first time at regionals, but we just had this conversation with her that really she could be one of the best all-arounders in the country. She’s starting to settle into that, and she’s starting to figure it out. That’s really cool for us to see, because she is a Rockstar – she’s phenomenal.”
The native of Smyrna, Tennessee, tied for first on vault with a 9.850 and tied for first on bars with a personal-best 9.850. In the third rotation, Wells matched her career high on beam with a 9.925, which is tied for ninth all-time in school history. She ended the night by tying for fifth on floor with a 9.850.
The Aggies (8-6, 3-4 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference) began the meet on vault and recorded a 49.025 on the event. Joining Wells in first place was freshman Trinity Brown, who also had a 9.850 – as did one Tiger and two Cougars.
Utah State moved to bars in the second rotation, where it scored a 48.950. Sophomore Brianna Brooks matched Wells’ 9.850 to tie for first.
“Bars is finally coming together, and I’m just beginning relax on the event,” Wells said. “It’s not as stressful as it used to be.”
Wells led the Aggies off on beam with her 9.925. Following Bayles’ 9.850, Brooks and junior Sofi Sullivan tied for ninth as each gymnast had a 9.825. Utah State finished with a 49.000 on the event, even after having to count a 9.575.
The Aggies closed the meet strong on floor, notching a 49.250. Sophomore Eve Jackson tied for second on the event with a career-high-tying 9.900, while Brown, Wells and freshman Amari Evans all tied for fifth at 9.850. For Evans, it was a career high.
“It’s kind of been a theme that we go on a roller-coaster ride every meet,” Smith said. “I do love roller coasters, but I don’t love them in competitions. We keep talking about figuring out how to bring our best when our best is needed one through six, on all four events. We need to figure that out because we’re kind of plateauing here. It’s not a bad place to be at a 196-plus, but we really are better than this, and we’ve got higher goals than that.”
The Cougars improved to 9-4-1 overall and 6-3 in the MRGC with the two victories, while the Tigers fell to 12-5 on the season.
Utah State and Towson will square off again on Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m., at the Spectrum.
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. 12 BYU and No. 23 Towson at No. 14 Utah State – Logan, Utah – Dee Glen Smith Spectrum – February 25, 2022
Team Results: 1. BYU – 196.575 (vault: 49.075, bars: 48.975; beam: 49.175, floor: 49.350); 2. Utah State – 196.225 (vault: 49.025, bars: 48.950, beam: 49.000; floor: 49.250); 3. Towson – 195.600 (vault: 49.000; bars: 48.725, beam: 48.975; floor: 48.900).
Vault: T1. Trinity Brown – Utah State, 9.850; T1. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 9.850; T1. Lexi Griffith – BYU, 9.850; T1. Sadie Miner-Van Tassell – BYU, 9.850; T1. Mia Davis – Towson, 9.850; T7. Brie Clark – Utah State, 9.800; T11. Brianna Brooks – Utah State, 9.775; T14. Molly Arnold – Utah State, 9.750; T16. Eve Jackson – Utah State, 9.700.
Bars: T1. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 9.850; T1. Brianna Brooks – Utah State, 9.850; T1. Haley Pitou – BYU, 9.850; T8. Eve Jackson – Utah State, 9.775; T10. Grace Rojas – Utah State, 9.750; T13. Jessica Gutierrez – Utah State, 9.725; T16. Maia Fishwick – Utah State, 9.650.
Beam: 1. Elease Rollins – BYU, 9.950; 2. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 9.925; 3. Clara Hong – Towson, 9.900; T5. Carley Bayles – Utah State, 9.850; T9. Brianna Brooks – Utah State, 9.825; T9. Sofi Sullivan – Utah State, 9.825; 16. Brie Clark – Utah State, 9.575; 18. Kielyn McCright – Utah State – 8.200.
Floor: 1. Brittney Vitkauskas – BYU, 9.925; T2. Eve Jackson – Utah State, 9.900; T2. Sadie Miner-Van Tassell – BYU 9.900; T5. Trinity Brown – Utah State, 9.850; T5. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 9.850; T5. Amari Evans – Utah State, 9.850; T11. Molly Arnold – Utah State, 9.800; 18. Brie Clark – Utah State, 9.075.
All-Around: 1. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 39.475; 2. Sadie Miner-Van Tassell – BYU, 39.425.