SEATTLE, Wash. – Utah State junior Rebecca Wells and freshman Brie Clark stood atop the podium in two events as the Aggies finished third overall (195.775) in a tri meet against Washington (196.825) and No. 20 Stanford (196.425) on Sunday afternoon at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Utah State’s finish avenged an earlier victory over Stanford back in January, as the Aggies posted a 196.350-195.725 over the Cardinal in a quad meet in Tucson, Arizona.
No. 16 Utah State (9-8, 3-4 MRGC) opened the meet on bars and was led by sophomore Brianna Brooks, who made the most of her 20th birthday by scoring a 9.875 on the event to tie for second overall. Brooks scored a 9.800 or higher on all three events that she competed in during the meet.
“It was a good birthday and I had fun competing,” Brooks said. “The girls were so fun today.”
She was followed by Wells with a 9.825, freshman Molly Arnold with a 9.775, sophomore Eve Jackson with a 9.750 and junior Grace Rojas with a 9.725 as the Aggies got off to a rocky start with a 48.475.
The Aggies bounced back in the second rotation on beam with a 49.225, their highest of the meet, as all five counting gymnasts scored a 9.825 on the event. Wells led the way with a 9.875 and was matched by freshman Kielyn McCright as the duo tied for third overall on the event. A trio of 9.825s rounded out the Aggies’ team score as senior Carly Bayles, Brooks and Clark all finished with the same score.
“We started off and we didn’t do ourselves any favors on bars, but bounced back really strong on beam,” USU head coach Amy Smith said. “The beam rotation was great. I’m really proud of how they bounced back over there.”
Utah State has now scored 49.000 or higher on beam in all but two meets this season.
Utah State then moved to floor, where Clark captured her eighth title of the season on the event, which is tied for second in a single season, with a 9.900 as the Aggies narrowly missed finishing above the 49-point threshold with a 48.950.
The title marked Clark’s ninth overall of the season, which ranks sixth in USU freshman class history.
The Aggies lineup featured all but one underclassmen as Clark was followed by Arnold with a 9.825, freshman Amari Evans with a 9.750, Jackson with a 9.750 and freshman Trinity Brown with a 9.725. Junior Jessica Gutierrez matched Brown’s 9.725 on the event.
USU wrapped up its afternoon on vault, scoring a 49.125, its second-highest mark on the event all season. Wells led the way for the Aggies with her 13th title this season after finishing first on the event with a 9.875. Wells is now tied for fourth all-time in junior class history with her 13 titles this year.
“After two falls on bars, we went to beam and we wanted to really just get it back,” Brooks said. “Then on vault, we were like, ‘This is our last event, let’s really get after it and be aggressive.”
Wells was followed by Brown with a 9.850, Arnold with a 9.800, Brooks with a 9.800 and Jackson with a career-high-tying 9.800.
“Vault closed it out really strong,” Smith said. “We had some great vaults that helped us out, but once again, we’ve got to be able to put them all together. Unfortunately, we missed an opportunity to do that tonight.”
Utah State will be back in action on Saturday, March 12, in a quad meet against Long Island, Temple and host-Minnesota in Minneapolis.
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. 16 Utah State/No. 20 Stanford at Washington – Seattle, Washington – Alaska Airlines Arena – March 6, 2022
Team Results: 1. Washington – 196.825 (vault: 49.125; bars: 49.175; beam: 49.300; floor: 49.225); 2. Stanford – 196.425 (vault: 49.000; bars: 49.100; beam: 49.175; floor: 49.150); 3. Utah State – 195.775 (vault: 49.125; bars: 48.475; beam: 49.225; floor: 48.950).
Vault: T1. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 9.875; T1. Kyla Bryant – Stanford, 9.875; Amara Cunningham – Washington, 9.875; T4. Trinity Brown – Utah State, 9.850; T6. Molly Arnold – Utah State, 9.800; T6. Brianna Brooks – Utah State, 9.800; T6. Eve Jackson – Utah State, 9.800.
Bars: 1. Grace Waguespack – Stanford, 9.900; T2. Skylar Killough-Wilhelm – Washington, 9.875; T2. Brenna Brooks – Washington, 9.875; T2. Taylor Russon – Washington, 9.875; T5. Brianna Brooks – Utah State, 9.850; T7. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 9.825; T11. Molly Arnold – Utah State, 9.775; 13. Eve Jackson – Utah State, 9.750; T14. Grace Rojas – Utah State, 9.725.
Beam: 1. Skylar Killough-Wilhelm – Washington, 9.925; 2. Kennedi Davis – Washington, 9.900; T3. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 9.875; T3. Kielyn McCright – Utah State, 9.875; T11. Carley Bayles – Utah State, 9.825; T11. Brianna Brooks – Utah State, 9.825; T11. Brie Clark – Utah State, 9.825.
Floor: T1. Brie Clark – Utah State, 9.900; T1. Kyla Bryant – Stanford, 9.900; T1. Amara Cunningham – Washington, 9.900; T6. Molly Arnold – Utah State, 9.825; T13. Amari Evans – Utah State, 9.750; T13. Eve Jackson – Utah State, 9.750; T15. Trinity Brown – Utah State, 9.725; T15. Jessica Gutierrez – Utah State, 9.725.
All-Around: 1. Skylar Killough-Wilhelm – Washington, 39.425; 2. Kyla Bryant – Stanford, 39.325; 3. Brenna Neault – Stanford, 39.250; 4. Rebecca Wells – Utah State, 39.225; 5. Eve Jackson – Utah State, 38.225.