LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s gymnastics program honored its 2016 senior class on Friday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, but it was junior Bailey McIntire that stole the show.
McIntire won the all-around title and tied for first on bars to help the Aggies beat both BYU and New Hampshire with a season-high team score of 196.025. The Cougars finished second with a 195.550, while the Wildcats came in third with a 193.825.
“It was the seniors’ last night in the Spectrum, so we just said, ‘Whatever happens, happens, and we’re just going to have fun the entire time,” McIntire said. “It was really a different feeling right from the beginning. We were super hyped and ready to go.”
McIntire captured the all-around title for the third time this season with a career-high score of 39.400, which is tied for ninth all-time in school history. It is also the highest all-around score by an Aggie since the 2005 campaign, when Jessica Parenti recorded a 39.425.
“I’m so proud of her to hit that strong all-around,” said third-year Utah State head coach Nadalie Walsh. “It’s a huge tribute to all of her hard work.”
At the conclusion of the meet, Utah State honored its senior class comprising of Jillian Chappel, JoAnna Cuba, Destiny Ezell, Miranda Kerr, McKinzey Martinez, Hayley Sanzotti and Michelle Yasukochi.
“Going into Senior Night, I was just trying not to think about it,” Martinez said. “It’s definitely bittersweet, but you’ve just got to remember that you’re out here with your team and it’s not something that you can think about in the moment.”
BYU (3-8, 0-6 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference) led the Aggies 147.500-147.100 heading into the final rotation. However, the Cougars stumbled on vault and had to count a 9.075 and 9.625, which allowed Utah State (6-6, 3-2) to complete the comeback.
“We’re not really supposed to watch the other team, but I did see it out of the corner of my eye and I saw two falls,” McIntire said. “I was like, ‘If we nail our floor routine, we will get the win. I knew what was going on, but I don’t think a lot of the team did.”
McIntire punctuated the victory with a career-high score of 9.900 on floor to place second. The native of Kearney, Mo., also had a career-best 9.900 on bars to win the competition and a career-high 9.825 on beam to tie for fourth. She began the night with a 9.775 on vault to place fifth.
Utah State, which went 5-1 at home this season, began the meet on vault, where the team notched a score of 48.775. Yasukochi led the way with a 9.800.
The Aggies next competed on bars and recorded a 49.250, which is tied for the seventh-best score in school history on the event. Following a fall, sophomore Melanie Oster recorded a career-high 9.850, which was matched one gymnast later by sophomore Keri Peel, who also set her career high in the event. McIntire then followed suit with her career-best score.
“Mistakes happen on bars and we’re allowed one mistake as a team,” said Martinez, who had a 9.875 on bars. “Even with one mistake, we have each other’s back, so it was just go out there and do what you know how to do, put the fall out of the way and go up and hit your routine, and that’s what we did.”
In the third rotation, Utah State competed on beam and scored a season-high 49.075, led by freshman Natalie Rainbolt’s 9.850 to tie for second. McIntire’s 9.825 tied for fourth, along with Sanzotti and freshman Emily Briones.
Utah State then closed out the competition on floor. The Aggies have now defeated the Cougars six of the last seven times they have faced off. Utah State improved to 3-1 all-time against the Wildcats (11-6), who are 0-3 in Logan.
“My team fought to the end,” Walsh said. “We didn’t have everything perfect, but they did not let their spirits get down and had a lot of really good leadership from people who weren’t out on the floor doing the routine, but they were rallying the girls that were watching. That was huge for us tonight. In fact, Katie Brown pulled the team together and said, ‘We are not going to go down.’”
The Aggies will be back in action on Sunday, March 6, when they travel to Lincoln, Neb., to take on No. 16 Nebraska at 1 p.m. (MT) at the Devaney Center.
For USU gymnastics ticket 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.
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New Hampshire, BYU at Utah State – Logan, Utah – Dee Glen Smith Spectrum – March 4, 2016
Team Results: 1.Utah State – (vault: 48.775, bars: 49.250, beam: 49.075, floor: 48.925); 2. BYU – 195.550 (vault: 48.050, bars: 49.175, beam: 49.000, floor: 49.325); 3. New Hampshire – 193.825 (vault: 48.825, bars: 48.750, beam: 47.850, floor: 48.400)
Vault: 1. Sin To – BYU, 9.850; 2. Erin Carroll – UNH, 9.825; T-3. Michelle Yasukochi – USU, 9.800; T-3. Elizabeth Mahoney – UNH, 9.800; T-5. Bailey McIntire – USU, 9.775; T-5. Mikaela Jones – BYU, T-7. Katie Brown – USU, 9.750; T-9. McKinzey Martinez – USU, 9.725; T-9. Madison Ward – USU, 9.725; T-9. Jillian Chappel – USU, 9.725.
Bars: T-1. Bailey McIntire – USU, 9.900; T-1. Eliane Kulczyk – BYU, 9.900; 3. McKinzey Martinez – USU, 9.875; T4. Melanie Oster – USU, 9.850; T-4. Keri Peel – USU, 9.850; T4. Emily Vidmar – BYU, 9.850; T-4. Brittni Wilde – BYU, 9.850; T-4. Jennifer King – UNH, 9.850; T-10. Madison Ward – USU, 9.775; 17. JoAnna Cuba – USU, 8.950.
Beam: 1. Makenzie Halliday – BYU, 9.900; T-2. Natalie Rainbolt – USU, 9.850; T-2. Emily Vidmar – BYU, 9.850; T-4. Hayley Sanzotti – USU, 9.825; T-4. Emily Briones – USU, 9.825; T-4. Bailey McIntire – USU, 9.825; T-4. Jill Van Mierlo – BYU, 9.825; T-8. Keri Peel – USU, 9.750; T-8. Melanie Oster – USU, 9.750.
Floor: 1. Makenzie Halliday – BYU, 9.950; 2. Bailey McIntire – USU, 9.900; T-3. Emily Vidmar – BYU, 9.875; T-3. Mackenzie Douglas – BYU, 9.875; T-5. Hayley Sanzotti – USU, 9.825; T-5. Sin To – BYU, 9.825; T-9. McKinzey Martinez – USU, 9.750; T-9. Jillian Chappel – USU, 9.750; T-13. Keri Peel – USU, 9.700; 17. Destiny Ezell – USU 8.925. All-Around: 1. Bailey McIntire – USU, 39.400; 2. Danielle Doolin – UNH, 38.925.