FULLERTON, Calif. – Utah State gymnastics put together four solid events and the Aggies had top two scores in three events plus the team total and finished in third-place at the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, hosted by Cal State Fullerton. The third-place finish ties USU’s best WAC finish in the Aggies’ five years in the league, matching the 2007 third-place finish.USU notched a team total of 193.675, the Aggies’ second-best score of the season, as well as posting a season-best 48.650 on vault, second-best scores of 48.575 on bars and 48.200 on beam and fourth-best score of 48.250 on floor.Southern Utah edged out two-time defending champion Boise State by .1, 195.800-195.700, while Utah State’s 193.675 eeked out San Jose State’s 193.600. Host Cal State Fullerton was fourth with a 193.175, while Sacramento State ended in sixth with a 192.650.”I’m extremely happy with our tremendous effort and performance tonight,” USU head coach Jeff Richards said. “We put together a complete night from start to finish and had some of our best scores of the season. It was nice to click on all cylinders and be rewarded for a complete team performance.”Senior Heather Heinrich earned second-team all-WAC honors by finishing fourth in the all-around with a 38.950, third year in a row earning all-conference honors. Sophomore Rebecca Holliday also earned second-team all-WAC accolades by finishing tied for fifth on bars with a 9.800 and tying for sixth on beam with a new season-high and career-best tying 9.825.”It is very exciting for Heather Heinrich to finish her WAC career as a three-time all-WAC honoree,” Richards said. “On the flip side, it’s equally exciting for Rebecca Holliday to earn all-conference honors for the first time of her career. Both of them have worked super hard all season long so its nice to see their hard work pay off and get recognized.”Junior Jackie Dillon was the Aggies’ other top 10 included junior Jackie Dillon tying for seventh on bars with a 9.775, a new season-high.USU opened on beam, with sophomore Rachel Flessner leading off the rotation with a 9.550, preceding a 9.225 from fellow freshman Haley Hogan. Junior Lyndsie Boone notched a 9.525, wobbling a bit on a landing, before Dillon scored a 9.550, preceding Holliday’s career-high tying score of 9.825. Heinrich concluded the rotation with a 9.750, leaving USU with its 48.200, the Aggies’ second-highest beam score of the season behind the top score of 48.575 in a dual against San Jose State on March 12. The 48.200 left Utah State in second-place after the first rotation behind Boise State’s 49.125 on vault.After a bye for the second rotation, USU moved to floor for the third round, with Watamaniuk starting off with a 9.525, preceding a 9.600 by Flessner. Sophomore Chelsea Marquardt notched an 8.375, falling on a landing, before freshman Amelia Montoya notched a 9.625. Boone and Heinrich each posted a 9.750 to round out the rotation, respectively, giving USU a 48.250 on floor. That score ranked No. 4 on the Aggies’ season-bests list.With three rotations in the books, USU has a 96.450, sitting in third behind leader Southern Utah’s 97.600 and second-place Boise State with 97.250.For the fourth rotation, USU was on vault, with Marquardt leading off with a 9.525, preceding a 9.600 by Watamaniuk and Holliday with a 9.650. Dillon then posted a season-high 9.775 before Heinrich registered a 9.800. Boone finished the rotation with a 9.825, tying her career-high and giving USU a 48.650 on vault, its top score of the season, bettering a 48.325 from the New Hampshire Invitational in the second meet in the opening weekend of the season.The 48.325 gave the Aggies a 145.100 sub-total after three events in the four rotations, leaving USU in second-place behind leaders Boise State with a 146.425 and ahead of third-place Cal State Fullerton’s 144.900 and San Jose State in fourth with a 144.850. Southern Utah and Sacramento State were on byes, with 97.600 and 96.175, respectively.USU was on a bye for the fifth rotation before finishing action on bars. Sophomore Brandie Dickson opened the lineup with a 9.600, preceding 9.675’s by Marquardt and Watamaniuk. Dillon then notched a season-high 9.775, before Holliday’s second-team all-WAC earning 9.800. In Heinrich’s final WAC event, the senior posted a 9.650, to give the Aggies a 48.575 on bars, their second-best score of the season. That left USU with its third-place clinching score of 193.675.USU awaits the announcement of the NCAA Regional field on Monday to find out how many individuals will qualify.Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, and can get score updates. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics.-USU-
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