LOGAN, Utah – Utah State closed out the home portion of its schedule in thrilling fashion Friday, beating No. 17 BYU 196.600-196.450 in front of 1,232 fans on Senior Night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
“I am honestly speechless,” said third-year Utah State head coach Amy Smith. “They have done a great job all year long. We were making lineup changes all the way down to the very last second almost on every event tonight, but our team has been so good at being resilient and adaptable and rolling with what we’re doing, because they have been preparing so well and have invested so much this year.”
With the win, the No. 26 Aggies (7-6-1, 3-4-1 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference) went a perfect 4-0 at home this season, marking just the third time in school history USU has posted a perfect record at home, joining the 1978 (8-0) and 1979 (5-0) teams.
“It is so exciting,” said senior bars specialist Brittany Jeppesen. “It is the best feeling in the world. I can’t even describe it. I’m almost speechless with how fun it is to win all four meets at home with our home crowd. We just have such a great team this year. It’s so exciting.”
The win snapped a nine-meet losing streak to the Cougars (10-3, 6-1 MRGC) dating back to the 2017 campaign.
Utah State’s 196.600 is the Aggies’ second-highest score of the season. It also ranks fourth all-time in school history and second all-time for a home meet. Furthermore, USU’s 49.100 on vault is tied for seventh all-time in program history and its 49.275 on bars is also tied for seventh in school history.
“I love being a part of this team,” said senior Elle Golison. “This team is going places; they are going to do a lot and break a lot of records. I have big expectations for them.”
Following the meet, the Aggies honored Golison and Jeppesen.
“I am so happy to be able to send Elle and Brittany out on such a great note – not only this meet, but this year has been incredibly special with really great things happening, and we’re not done yet,” Smith said. “We have more to come.”
Junior Autumn DeHarde captured a pair of titles for the Aggies, winning beam with a 9.875 and floor with a career-high 9.950, which is tied for second all-time in school history. The native of Sussex, Wis., now has 12 career beam titles, which ranks first all-time in program history. Her eight career floor titles is tied for 10th all-time and her five beam titles on the year is tied for fifth in single-season school history.
ROTATION ONE | VAULT
The Aggies opened with their 49.100 on vault, highlighted by junior Mikaela Meyer’s 9.850 to tie for third. Sophomore Grace Rojas tied her career high with a 9.825 to tie for sixth and freshman Rebecca Wells also had a personal-best 9.825.
ROTATION TWO | BARS
Jeppesen and freshman Sofi Sullivan tied for first on bars with career-best 9.900s, helping the team record its 49.275. Rojas finished fourth with a career-high-tying 9.850 and junior Leighton Varnadore matched her personal best of 9.800 to tie for seventh.
“Finally,” Jeppesen said. “I’ve been waiting for that number for a long time. Tonight was the perfect time for me to hit that 9.900. It’s exciting to see my hard work pay off.
ROTATION THREE | BEAM
Utah State eclipsed the 49.000 plateau for the fourth-consecutive meet with its 49.000 against BYU on beam. DeHarde led the way with her 9.875, while Sullivan placed second with a 9.850. Wells tied for fourth with a career-high 9.800.
ROTATION FOUR | FLOOR
In the final rotation, Utah State had a 49.225 for the second time in the last three meets. After DeHarde, Sullivan had a career-high 9.850 to tie for fourth and Wells matched her career best with a 9.850.
Utah State closes out the regular season when the Aggies travel to Salt Lake City to take on No. 4 Utah on Friday, March 13, at 7 p.m., at the Huntsman Center.
Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, on Facebook at Utah State Gymnastics, and on Instagram at USUGymnastics. Fans can also follow the USU athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at UtahStateAthletics.
No. 17 BYU at No. 26 Utah State – Logan, Utah – Dee Glen Smith Spectrum – March 6, 2020
Team Results: 1. Utah State – 196.600 (vault: 49.100, bars: 49.275, beam: 49.000, floor: 49.225); 2. BYU – 196.450 (vault: 49.300, bars: 49.050, beam: 48.750, floor: 49.350).
Vault: 1. Jordan Matthews – BYU, 9.900; 2. Abbey Miner – BYU, 9.875; T3. Mikaela Meyer- 9.850; T3. Avery Bennett – BYU, 9.850; T3. Sadie Miner – BYU, 9.850; T6. Grace Rojas – USU, 9.825; T6. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9.825; T9. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.800; T9. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.800; 11. Elle Golison – USU, 9.775
Bars: T1. Brittany Jeppesen – USU, 9.900; T1. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.900; 3. Haley Pitou – BYU, 9.875; 4. Grace Rojas – USU, 9.850; T5. Maia Fishwick – USU, 9.825; T7. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.800; 11. Jessica Gutierrez – USU, 9.725.
Beam: 1. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.875; 2. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.850; 3. Abby Stainton – BYU, 9.825; T4. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9.800; 7. Taylor Dittmar – USU, 9.775; T8. Carley Bayles – USU, 9.700; T9. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.675.
Floor: 1. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.950; T2. Sadie Miner – BYU, 9.900; T2. Abbey Miner – BYU, 9.900; T4. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9.850; T4. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.850; 10. Elle Golison – USU, 9.800; T11. Ariel Toomey – USU, 9.775; T11. Mikaela Meyer – USU, 9.775.