Utah State places second in home tri meet against Alaska and Nebraska – Cache Valley Daily

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s gymnastics team closed out its 2023 home schedule by placing second in a tri meet against Alaska and Nebraska in front of 1,545 fans on Friday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

The Aggies finished with a 194.600 to beat the Seawolves, who came in third with a final score of 191.750. Nebraska, competing in Logan for the first time since 1993, won the tri meet with a season-best 197.500.

At the conclusion of the meet, Utah State honored its seven seniors in Carley Bayles (BB), Grace Rojas (VT/UB/BB), Lexi Aragon (UB/BB/FX), Maia Fishwick (AA), Jessica Gutierrez (UB/BB/FX), Sofi Sullivan (AA) and Ariel Toomey (AA), as well as team manager Daniel Barclay.

“I was really emotional at the end there with the video playing on the board,” Sullivan said. “It’s crazy that I’ve been doing this my whole life and now it’s almost over, but I’ve had such great teammates and such a good experience here, that I’m going to be friends with these girls forever. They’re my sisters now. It was a good feeling, just bittersweet.”

Sullivan certainly shined in her final home meet as an Aggie. The native of Manhattan Beach, California, tied for first on beam with a 9.925, which is tied for ninth all-time in school history. She also owns the school record on beam with a 9.975 and the second-best score on the event with a 9.950, a feat she has accomplished twice.

First-year Utah State head coach Kristin White did not like the way the meet finished for her team, but she still hopes it was a memorable experience for Sullivan and the rest of the seniors.

“We wanted to come out here and really rock all four events, but unfortunately, we didn’t do that – we fell short on balance beam,” White said. “It kind of started right from the warmup. The other three events were super strong during warmup, but beam was lacking a little bit of confidence and we saw that today in competition.

“The seven seniors on this team, I am really proud of everything they’ve done, so I hope that they walk away with pride in their heart and know that they’ve given everything to this program. It was a great night regardless of the score.”

Brianna Brooks also tied for first on beam with a personal-best 9.925. The junior from Las Vegas, Nevada, finished third in the all-around with a 39.275. She also matched her career high on bars with a 9.900, tying for third in the process.

“I just went out there and did it for my teammates,” Brooks said. “I knew it was a big night for all of us. Following some of the falls, I just did it for the rest of the team, and I did it for the seniors tonight, and it paid off. I did what I do in practice.”

Utah State (2-9) opened the meet with a solid 48.850 on vault – its second-highest score of the season on the event. Senior Alivia Ostendorf led the Aggies with a 9.850 to tie for third. Sophomore Payton Gatzlaff tied for seventh with a 9.800, Brooks placed ninth with a 9.775 and freshman Chelsea Southam tied for 11th – along with junior Jenna Eagles – with a personal-best 9.700.

Nebraska (8-7) began on floor and scored a 49.300 to take the lead for good, while Alaska (2-10) opened with a 47.550 on bars.

In the second rotation, Brooks led the way on bars with her 9.900 to help the Aggies score a 49.175 – tied for the second-best score of the season on the apparatus. Freshman Avery Bibbey also matched her career high with a 9.850, while senior Lexi Aragon notched a personal-best 9.825 in the No. 6 spot. Grad senior Grace Rojas also had a 9.825.

“It’s so fun to see all the hard work coming from the gym paying off,” Brooks said. “Everyone who got a PR today deserves it, and they’re just going to keep improving and getting better.”

Despite the two 9.925s on beam from Brooks and Sullivan, Utah State struggled on the event in the third rotation as three gymnasts fell. As part of their team score of 47.650, the Aggies had to count two falls.

Utah State bounced back on floor in the fourth and final rotation, recording a 48.925 as Ostendorf and fellow senior Ariel Toomey tied for third with identical 9.850s.

This was just the seventh-ever meeting between the Aggies and Seawolves as Utah State improved to 7-0 all-time in overall series, including 4-0 at home. The Cornhuskers have now defeated USU 11-consecutive times and lead the series 19-9, including a 3-2 mark in Logan.


The Aggies head back out on the road for a quad meet hosted by No. 7 Cal on Friday, March 10, at 8 p.m. (MT). Joining the Aggies and Golden Bears at Haas Pavilion will be No. 16 Ohio State and No. 21 Stanford.

Alaska/Nebraska at Utah State | Logan, Utah | Dee Glen Smith Spectrum | March 3, 2023

Team Results: 1. Nebraska – 197.500 (vault: 49.300, bars: 49.500, beam: 49.400, floor: 49.300); 2. Utah State – 194.600 (vault: 48.850, bars: 49.175, beam: 47.650, floor: 48.925); 3. Alaska – 191.750 (vault: 47.675, bars: 47.550, beam: 48.350, floor: 48.175).

Vault: 1. Emma Spence – UN, 9.900; 2. Martina Comin – UN, 9.875; T3. Alivia Ostendorf – USU, 9.850; T3. Sophia McClelland – UN, 9.850 T3. Ayzhia Hall – UN, 9.850; 6. Kinsey Davis – UN, 9.825; T7. Payton Gatzlaff – USU, 9.800; T7. Katie Kuenemann – UN, 9.800; 9. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.775; 10. Angel Stuart – USU, 9.725; T11. Jenna Eagles – USU, 9.700; T11. Chelsea Southam – USU, 9.700; 13. Montana Fairbairn – UAA, 9.625; 14. Madelyn Gomez – UAA, 9.600; 15. Silje Hildenbrand – UAA, 9.525; 16. Ariana Desouza – UAA, 9.475; 17. Alyssa Manley – UAA, 9.450.


Bars: T1. Clara Colombo – UN, 9.925; T1. Kinsey Davis – UN, 9.925; T3. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.900; T3. Emma Spence – UN, 9.900; T5. Sophia McClelland – UAA, 9.875; T5. Genesis Gibson – UN, 9.875; 7. Avery Bibbey – USU, 9.850; T8. Lexi Aragon – USU, 9.825; T8. Grace Rojas – USU, 9.825; T10. Jessica Gutierrez – USU, 9.775; T10. Emma Simpton – UN, 9.775; 12. Hayley Perkins – UAA, 9.675; 13. Paola Ruano Barahona – UAA, 9.600; 14. Alyssa Manley – UAA, 9.525; 15. Rachel Decious – UAA, 9.400; 16. Allie McClure – UAA, 9.350; 17. Dani Kirstine – USU, 9.275; 18. Emily Walker – UAA, 9.250.

Beam: T1. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.925; T1. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.925; T1. Emma Simpton – UN, 9.925; T1. Emma Spence – UN, 9.925; T1. Sophia McClelland – UN, 9.925; T6. Rachel Decious – UAA, 9.850; T6. Clara Colombo – UN, 9.850; T8. Marcela Bonifasi – UAA, 9.775; T8. Shannon Farrell – UAA, 9.775; T8. Allie Gard – UN, 9.850; 11. Alivia Ostendorf – USU, 9.750; 12. Montana Fairbairn – UAA, 9.675; 13. Paola Ruano Barahona – UAA, 9.275; 14. Ayzhia Hall – UN, 9.250; 15. Jenna Eagles – USU, 9.075; 16. Lexi Aragon – USU, 8.975; 17. Mackenzie Robinson – UAA, 8.925; 18. Carley Bayles – USU, 8.675.

Floor: T1. Sophia McClelland – UN, 9.925; T1. Emma Spence – UN, 9.925; T3. Ariel Toomey – USU, 9.850; T3. Alivia Ostendorf – USU, 9.850; T3. Martina Comin – UN, 9.850; 6. Kylie Piringer – UN, 9.825; T7. Jenna Eagles – USU, 9.775; T7. Rachel Decious – UAA, 9.775; T7. Halle Rourke – UN, 9.775; T10. Payton Gatzlaff – USU, 9.725; T10. Jessica Gutierrez – USU, 9.725; T10. Alyssa Manley – UA, 9.725; 13. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.675; 14. Katie Kuenemann – UN, 9.650; 15. Montana Fairbairn – UAA, 9.660; 16. Ariana Desouza – UAA, 9.575; 17. Mackenzie Robinson – UA, 9.500; 18. Breean Spain – UAA, 8.825.

All-Around: 1. Emma Spence – UN, 39.650; 2. Sophia McClelland – UN, 39.575; 3. Brianna Brooks – USU, 39.275.


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