BYU team cheering

LIVE BLOG: No. 23 Utah State at No. 21 BYU

Happy Friday night MRGC dual meet time! The parity between the teams in the conference is insane right now and I hope you join me for the fun!

Utah State makes the short drive to Provo for BYU’s home opener. The Aggies have exceeded expectations so far this season, highlighted by freshman Brie Clark, who hasn’t scored below 9.9 on floor thus far. Last week, the Aggies outscored both Arizona and Stanford at Arizona after the team’s original meet with Boise State was cancelled due to COVID protocols within the Broncos’ program. Rebecca Wells also returned to competition last week after missing the previous meet due to COVID protocols.

BYU is coming off a close matchup at Southern Utah where the Cougars were edged out by the Thunderbirds by just 0.025. The Cougars have improved their team score each meet thus far; watch to see if the trend continues. Floor left much to be desired last week score-wise compared to typical BYU floor standards, however the Cougars rebounded for a solid beam performance. Sadie Miner-Van Tassell competed all around for the second meet in a row and the second time in her career and put up another 39-plus score. A little-known highlight of the meet was Allix Mason’s bars debut—she didn’t get a high score due to a final arched handstand, but her form and technique is top-notch and worth watching for.

Our favorite free stream/TV network combo BYUtv has this meet and stats can be found here.

USU lineups:

Rotation 1: BYU VT, USU UB

BYU vault lineup:

https://twitter.com/BYU_Gymnastics/status/1487245220446040065?s=20&t=FwdocmMsacMvBPq6JA3OUA

Pitou (BYU): nice yfull, small slide back. Great way to start! 9.825

Gutierrez (USU): good Maloney, some leg sep at the end to bail, good; dlo, some form, small hop. 9.776

Rollins (BYU): half on tuck half, step forward. 9.775

Wells (USU): nice first hs; patient going into her tkatchev; nearly falls on the low bar but saves it with a toe circle; good final hs; ftdt step forward. 9.675

Mason (BYU): yfull, nice distance, too much power and a good-sized hop back. 9.75

Jackson (USU): almost over on her first hs, saves it; straddled jaeger to bail good; nice final hs; ftdt hop back. 9.775

Griffith (BYU): stuck yhalf! Some tiny form, but nicely done. On replay, one foot moved the tiniest bit. 9.85

Sullivan (USU): straddled jaeger pretty; clean pak; great final hs; dlo, hands down, what a shame! Great routine otherwise. 9.125

Benson (BYU): clean yfull, tiny hop back. 9.85

Brooks (USU): no, Spencer, this is not Maia Fishwick. good straddled tkatchev connected to bail. dlo some leg sep, stuck. 9.9

Miner-Van Tassell (BYU): y1.5, great in air, small step back, so they could get her for underrotation also. 9.825

Fishwick (USU): great first hs; Maloney to bail solid; nice final hs; stuck double front! Nice job from the end of this rotation to pick up their teammate and not count a fall. 9.925

AFTER 1: BYU 49.125, USU 49.050

We’ve got a close one after 1, folks! It wasn’t a perfect vault rotation for BYU, but it was good enough for a 49+ score and the Cougars are in a good place moving forward on the event. Utah State had a couple uncharacteristic mistakes; Sullivan’s fall means the Aggies are counting Wells’ “I almost fell standing on the low bar” 9.675 routine. The highlight for the Aggies was clearly those last two routines that went 9.9+.

Rotation 2: USU VT, BYU UB

BYU bars lineup:

Brown (USU): yfull, clean in air but pikes down, good landing though. 9.8

Miner-Van Tassell (BYU): so I guess she’s an AAer now; blind full gienger to bail good; nice hs; ftdt STUCK. For someone who hasn’t competed bars her entire career, she’s really making a splash on the event! 9.875

https://twitter.com/BYU_Gymnastics/status/1487253565252849667?s=20&t=F83IPeocWW_CRZMbC2CjGg

Clark (USU): nice yfull, sizable hop back. Good dynamics though. 9.75

Mason (BYU): great first hs; Maloney to pak gorg. hits final hs; floaty DLO, a tiny hop followed by a tiny foot adjustment. 9.75

Arnold (USU): y1/2, hop forward. 9.8

Hunter (BYU): huge straddled tkatchev; clear hip hs hits and holds on; bail hit; good final hs; dlo with a step. 9.75

Brooks (USU): yfull, pretty clean, tiny hop in place. 9.875

Beeston (BYU): great first hs; good gienger to bail; arches over on last hs, bends legs and saves it, but that’ll be a sizable deduction. dlo with a shuffle back. 9.55

Wells (USU): yfull solid, tiny shuffle back. 9.875

Alvarado (BYU): good first hs; maloney to pak gorg; good pirouette; pretty short final hs; dlo stuck. 9.925

I guess USU is scratching Jackson on vault.

Pitou (BYU): great first hs; blind change jaeger pretty; nice bail hs; good final hs; ftdt tiny hop. 9.9

AFTER 2: BYU 98.325, USU 98.150

BYU widened the gap ever-so-slightly, but we’ve still got a close one. The Cougars were aggressive on bars, and it paid off minus the one overarched handstand. Like with Utah State, the last 2 routines were the highlights, and Mason showed her potential again. Utah State wasn’t quite there on vault, but it is exactly where it needs to be for this time of the year. The Aggies went over 49 while scratching the sixth vaulter which is also impressive.

Guard Young: “one girl bent in half and somehow saved it.” Yes. Correct.

Rotation 3: BYU BB, USU FX

BYU beam lineup:

Ono (BYU): bhs bhs loso secure; secure leaps; gainer full stuck. 9.825

Arnold (USU): back 2.5 to punch front, good; solid leaps; double tuck well controlled; singular switch leap, good. 9.8

Pitou (BYU): did she…just fall…on her mount? bhs loso, she’s off again. Cleary shaken up by that initial fall. secure leaps; cat leap side aerial good; switch leap gainer full, small hop. Not the routine she wanted. 8.65

Evans (USU): fhs lay Rudi, small shuffle; she choreographed her own routine! switch ring tour jete 1/2, nice extension; ro 1.5 to lay, better control. 9.725

Millar (BYU): the Cougars look to the freshman to recover. bhs bhs loso, tiny check; leaps nicely extended; front full small hop. Not perfect, but what BYU needed. 9.8

Abbey Miner Alder spotting in the crowd! It’s alumni night at BYU and obviously her sister is still competing for the Cougars also.

Brown (USU): front tuck through double tuck to open, good; fhs front full front lay, good control; nice positions on leaps; closing double pike, solid. 9.75

Miner-Van Tassell (BYU): side aerial split jump, good; bhs loso secure; switch split, nice; nails the dismount. 9.9

https://twitter.com/BYU_Gymnastics/status/1487262026879537154?s=20&t=F83IPeocWW_CRZMbC2CjGg

Toomey (USU): Uma Thurman music. front double full to open, well controlled. solid leaps; ro 1.5 to pike, she was supposed to do a lay full, but completely missed the punch. Kudos to her for keeping it on her feet, but that could be a SV issue also. 9.475

Rollins (BYU): switch leap straddle 1/4 good; front aerial bhs loso, clean and secure; bhs gainer full stuck. Great routine for her! 9.925

Wells (USU): nice double pike; leaps good; ro 1.5 step-out through to a double full. Cheerleading-esque. Clean Rudi with a hop up to lunge. 9.775

Beeston (BYU): bhs loso solid; beat to front aerial small lean to split jump; gainer full, tiny hop. That’s a hit, and BYU won’t count a fall. 9.825

Clark (USU): this might just be the routine of the night! huge DLO to open; her leaps show the same power as her tumbling, and good positions too; sky high straddle jump; back 2.5 to front punch, nice. her front tuck goes so much higher than the 2.5! 9.925

AFTER 3: BYU 147.600, USU 147.125

Really impressed with BYU’s resilience on beam after Pitou’s uncharacteristic mistake

Re: Eve Jackson vault. Amy Smith says they scratched her since they had 5 good vaults and she warmed up a little wonky. Utah State had some weird little floor things, and Toomey’s mistake didn’t help anything. Brie Clark continues to highlight that rotation!

Rotation 4: USU BB, BYU FX

BYU floor lineup:

https://twitter.com/BYU_Gymnastics/status/1487266056389349377?s=20&t=z9Lka_1yxRh9caqmdNZSLA

Wells (USU): moving quickly through this routine; side aerial good; secure leaps; bhs loso, small wobble. I swear this is the fastest beam routine ever. ro double full stuck. 9.825

Hunter (BYU): double stag full, unique! Rudi loso, gorg; solid leaps; Music goes into Sweet Caroline, a true classic. ro 1.5 to lay good. 9.8

Bayles (USU): front aerial bhs bhs, secure; switch leap tuck 3/4 solid; ro 1.5 stuck. 9.925

Beeston (BYU): front lay Rudi, good; nice extension on leaps; double tuck to floss choreo. May have gone OOB? Weird angle. 9.825

McCright (USU): bhs loso, thought she had it but then bends at hips; she’s doing really good at working through this routine, even when she’s slightly off. Hits dismount. Not perfect, but a hit. 9.75

Dudley (BYU): solid double pike to open; switch side wolf half, good; front full front lay clean; short double tuck, low chest and step forward. 9.725

Brooks (USU): “she’s had a memorable night” – Spencer Linton. front aerial bhs bhs, solid; leaps good; bhs bhs swing down, good; hitch kick side aerial lay full stuck. 9.85

Rieder (BYU): fhs front double full front punch, close to OOB but I think she stayed in. Leaps good. casual ro loso, for funsies; fhs Rudi good.

Sullivan (USU): front aerial back pike, good; switch leap back tuck secure; ro 1.5 step back. Another good one for her. 9.775

Miner-Van Tassell (BYU): huge double tuck to open, does a hop back in lunge; that’s watered down for her—she usually does a DLO but is playing it safe as she returns from “illness”; better control on double pike; solid leaps; ro 1.5 front full good. 9.825 LOL OK JUDGES.

Clark (USU): standing front tuck to straddle jump, great amplitude; bhs loso secure; straddle straddle 1/4, great positions and secure landing; stuck front full. Maybe the best beam routine I’ve seen her do in college. 9.9

Vitkauskas (BYU): front double full, large ish step forward; back 1.5 front lay good; nice extension on leaps; closing Rudi, solid. 9.9

FINAL: BYU 196.775, USU 196.450

Respectable totals for both teams, and USU will certainly take a mid-196 road score. Floor judges went a little cracky towards the end, but it was a good meet regardless and the score probably just about reflects the total as well as the separation between the teams. Shoutout to Brie Clark for getting her first career 9.9 on beam.

Miner-Van Tassell says competing AA was “a long time coming” and “was supposed to happen years ago”. She’s struggled with injuries in the past.

Event Winners

VT: Brooks, Wells (USU), 9.875

UB: Fishwick (USU), Alvarado (BYU), 9.925

BB: Rollins (BYU), Bayles (USU), 9.925

FX: Clark (USU), 9.925

AA: Miner-Van Tassell (BYU), 39,425


Live blog by Tara Graeve

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