LIVE BLOG: No. 21 Utah State at No. 25 Southern Utah

MRGC duals are always exciting, but this one is particularly close. Utah State beam has been fantastic this year, which could lead to some late-stage drama in a home meet. Meanwhile, Southern Utah has been using a squad of almost exclusively veterans who have performed fairly evenly across events but have room to grow particularly on vault and floor. Home floor advantage also tends to be substantial in the MRGC, which might tip the scales as well.

Rotation 1: SUU VT, USU UB

Vultaggio (SUU): Very stretched FTY, doesn’t quite get her feet under her and takes a small hop forward. 9.8

Gutierrez (USU): Maloney to bail, feet a little soft, and leg separation on the double layout. Looks a little deep with a step out. 9.775

Tervort (SUU): FTY, great body position but looked like a touch less amplitude than Vultaggio, controlled pace backward. 9.775

Wells (USU): Great half turn, super controlled, to Tkachev with flexed feet to overshoot. FTDB very very deep and squatted but more or less stuck. 9.775

Alfaro (USU): One of my favorite FTYs, great with just a slight shuffle in place. 9.9, as she should.

They’re playing that ABCDEFU song from TikTok. Hopefully they don’t scandalize anyone in the audience.

Jackson (USU): Blind to Jaeger, just a little too far and brushes the bar with her fingers on the way down. Got it on the second try. 9.15

Smith (SUU): Full on pike off, clean in the air and high with a hop back. 9.875

Sullivan (USU): Great Jaeger, clean Pak. Really pretty, double layout badly underrotated and narrowly avoids dropping a knee as she takes two steps forward. 9.6

Kho (SUU): One and a half and just a small step back! Slightly lock-legged landing, definitely saw her absorb force of the landing, but she stayed on top of it well. 9.9

Brooks (USU): Ray to overshoot with great extension, double layout pretty with a hop forward. 9.85

Barney (SUU): FTY, piked down hard and chest a little low but stuck-ish. 9.8

Fishwick (USU): Maloney to bail, zero leg separation through the entire combo, blind to double front with a quick step back. 9.85

After 1: Southern Utah 49.275, Utah State 48.850

That’s a Thunderbird season high on vault, with great results from both of the 10.0 SV vaults plus Alfaro delivering like she’s done a million times.

Rotation 2: Utah State VT, Southern Utah UB

Brown (USU): Solid FTY, medium amplitude with a hop back. 9.875

Smith (SUU): Toe on to Maloney-Pak, leg separation on the way back down, double layout with a quick hop back. 9.825

Clark (USU): Tons of distance on her FTY, chest maybe a touch low and a small hop. 9.825

Schwartze (SUU): Piked Jaeger, great bail. She has great toe point but you do catch the occasional flicker of loose feet, really minor though. Blind full with a slightly soft back to double back, hop forward. 9.85

Arnold (USU): Yurchenko half, very late twist which is a fun technique. Small hop forward. 9.8

Nipp (SUU): Blind to Jaeger, quite a close catch but casts out fine, bail is solid. Double layout stuck. 9.85

Brooks (USU): Interesting run, she doesn’t seem to develop a ton of speed from it. Solid FTY though with a step back. 9.85

Bentley (SUU): Slightly short on the first handstand, very close catch on her Ray but survives the overshoot connection. Double layout good with another stick. 9.825

Wells (USU): Great FTY, stuck or something pretty close to it. Replay shows the TINIEST shuffle back, we’re talking millimeters. 9.9

Murakami (SUU): I spent years wishing for her to move later in the lineup and now she’s here she knows exactly what to do. Jaeger to overshoot great, ultra precise handstands, FTDB stuck. Chest maybe a little low but that’s really all I saw there. 9.975 GO OFFFFFFFF. That’s the program record.

Jackson (USU): Yurchenko layout, hop back. Not sure if that’s what was planned. 9.575

McClain (SUU): Clear hip to Gienger, slight toe flicker on the catch, great bail. Double layout with a step forward. 9.8

After 2: Southern Utah 98.600, Utah State 98.100

Great Utah State vault rotation gets the Aggies back on solid ground but it’s the Shylen Murakami program record bars routine we’ll be remembering.

Rotation 3: Southern Utah BB, Utah State FX

Murakami (SUU): Slight adjustment on the full turn, BHS LOSO BHS with another adjustment. Split to sheep. Side aerial, tuck back full stuck. Quick and efficient routine. 9.8

Arnold (USU): Two and a half to front tuck, great. Slightly underrotated double back but negotiates into the lunge well. 9.9

Smith (SUU): Round off LOSO, leg-up check. Cat leap tour jete half, misses the split and a check. Looked off from the takeoff. Full turn, beat jump, one and a half twist stuck on her toes. 9.775

Jackson (USU): Overcooked double pike with a long lunge, front lay front full, shuffles the leap pass around. Double tuck good. 9.85

Vultaggio (SUU): BHS LOSO LOSO with an extra step. Switch to split is good, full turn with a slight adjustment. One and a half twist with a hop forward. 9.85

Brown (USU): Front through double back, a little cowboyed but well controlled. Front full front pike comes in low with a step back. Switch side Popa underrotated, piked backspin which is just such a confusing skill, good double pike.

Wissman (SUU): Front aerial BHS BHS great. Switch split, full turn, cat leap kickover front to beat is a little deep. Gainer full. Best routine yet for the Thunderbirds. 9.875

Wells (USU): Good double pike, maybe a slight front foot shift, tour jete half Popa Popa super precise which is saying a lot for a leap pass with so much rotation. One and a half through double full a little underrotated, step forward, Rudi overcooked with a long lunge. 9.825

Nipp (SUU): Front aerial to split, arm movement in between though I doubt these judges are in the mood to take CV. BHS LOSO, pulls the front foot back slightly. Full turn, great leaps, gainer full stuck. 9.825

Clark (USU): Double layout, slightly soft knees and a long lunge. Leaps are MASSIVE, overrotated her Popa by like 90 degrees, two and a half punch front is great. 9.925

Schwartze (SUU): BHS LOSO good, full turn with an arm swing. Beat to LOSO, check. Split to sheep. Side aerial tuck back full travels like a yard to the side. 9.775

Gutierrez (USU): Switch to tour jete full… ish. Front through double tuck, cowboyed but well controlled. Double pike with a slide back.

After 3: Southern Utah 147.725, Utah State 147.475

Thunderbirds hang onto the lead against a surging Utah State but it’ll only get tougher, since the Aggies’ best event this year is beam. Home floor can be great for SUU but this is far from over.

Rotation 4: Utah State BB, Southern Utah FX

Wells (USU): Full turn, great side aerial. Switch tour jete 1/4 with a lean back. BHS LOSO good. Double full dismount stuck. 9.8

Horton (SUU): Wolf full, one and a half front full is good. Rudi overrotated with a large cross step. Tour jete half Popa, one and a half front full. 9.7

Bayles (USU): Front aerial BHS with great extension, easy full split in that BHS. Full turn. Switch tuck 3/4. Front aerial to split, one and a half stuck. Amazing. 9.9

Smith (SUU): Whip double back is great. Tour jete half wolf full wolf full Shush. Great control on her Rudi. Getting a ten chant from the crowd, while that’s not likely I really do get the impulse because there was not a whole ton wrong with that. 9.875

McCright (USU): BHS LOSO slightly off line but gets it on with her arms. Beat to tuck full, side aerial to split fairly slow but clean. Side aerial back full stuck. 9.85

McClain (SUU): Great double pike, one and a half front lay very clean. Switch half wolf full, great double back. Momentum now for the Thunderbirds, energy is high. 9.925

Brooks (USU): Front aerial, slight adjustment, BHS BHS great. Full turn overturned, switch to Korbut is lovely. Hitch kick side aerial back full stuck with one foot substantially in front of the other. 9.875

Schwartze (SUU): Front double full controlled decently well, switch to tour jete half wolf full a touch underrotated. The crowd engagement these floor routines get is bananas. Rudi to LOSO, looked like the Rudi was a little overcooked and then she did the LOSO on top of herself, but she lunged out fine. 9.875

Sullivan (USU): Front aerial, arm swing, back pike. Connections have been generous today so it should be fine. Switch back tuck, one and a half twist with legs apart but stuck. 9.875

Nipp (SUU): Double pike slightly overrotated. Front full front lay controlled beautifully, switch ring tour jete full and actually lunges out which is always my favorite thing. Double tuck comes in deep, lunges forward. 9.875

Clark (USU): Front tuck to straddle is huge. BHS LOSO, substantial check. Straddle straddle quarter, full turn, punch front full stuck. 9.825

Kho (SUU): Open full in, two steps back and an OOB. Tour jete half Popa Popa underrotated, front lay front full and falls. Frustrating but tons of potential.

FINAL: Southern Utah 196.975, Utah State 196.800

That’s a Utah State program record tie! It’s about time with how great Aggie recruiting has been and how hot the beam team has been over the last few weeks. 196.975 is a frustrating score for anyone, but it’s a big step forward for Southern Utah. Now the job is to start getting 196+ numbers on the road as well.

AA Champ: Rebecca Wells (USU) 39.300

VT Champ: Morgan Alfaro, Caitlin Kho (SUU), Rebecca Wells (USU) 9.900

UB Champ: Shylen Murakami (SUU) 9.975

BB Champ: Carley Bayles (USU) 9.900

FX Champ: Karley McClain (SUU), Brie Clark (USU) 9.925

Live Blog by Rebecca Scally

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