Utah State head gymnastics coach Jeff Richards has announced that two gymnasts have signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. Samantha Wagner and Julia Wilkins have signed to compete for the Aggies for the 2010-11 season.”I am very excited to sign both Julia and Sam. Both are academically strong as well as athletically talented,” Richards said. “The addition of these two quality student-athletes will help us replace the routines we are losing in our lone senior from this season in Heather Heinrich. Heather’s vault has been very strong for us and Sam will be able to step into that spot very well. Both of these student-athletes have strong bars, beam and floor routines, and will give us stronger depth on these three events.”Wagner is a native of Batavia, Ill., where she competes for Phenom Gymnastics in Aurora, Ill., for coaches Jessica Holtz and Marco Bravo. She is a two-year competitor at Level 10 and was a regional qualifier. Wagner was also a Level 9 regional beam champion. At Batavia High School, Wagner has a 3.8 GPA. She is the daughter of Sandy and Bob Wagner and she plans on majoring in biology or pre-physical therapy at Utah State.Wilkins is a Bexley, Ohio native, and she competes for Universal Gymnasts Inc. in Hilliard, Ohio, where her head coach is Dave Anthony. She also is a two-year competitor at Level 10. She was a two-time Level 9 regional qualifier and region five bar champion as well as a state champion on floor. Wilkins won the state championships in the all-around, floor, vault and bars as a Level 8 gymnast. She is a an honor roll student a Bexley High School with a 3.82 GPA. She is the daughter of Christopher Wilkins and Anne and Bruce Aldrich. Wilkins is interested in majoring in science or pre-med at Utah State, with aspirations of going to medical school.Utah State finished the 2009 season 1-19 overall and 0-9 in Western Athletic Conference action, finishing sixth at the WAC Championships meet. While USU did not qualify as a team to the NCAA North Central Regional Gymnastics meet, the Aggies did send five individuals. USU will host its annual Blue-White Intrasquad Meet on Saturday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. at the Health, Physical Education and Recreation building (HPER).The Aggies officially open the 2010 season on Jan. 15 at Central Michigan, before continuing the road trip on Jan. 17 at New Hampshire. After a road meet on Jan. 22 at in-state foe Southern Utah, Utah State will host Boise State on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Aggies’ home and WAC opener.Admission to Utah State gymnastics home meets is $5 for adults and $1 for youth. Fans can buy a women’s sports pass for $75 which will gain admittance to all USU women’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastics action. For more information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the “buy/renew tickets” under the “tickets” drop down menu.
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