DURHAM, NH — The Flippin’ Birds’ posted a season-high team score of 195.400 in snowy Durham, New Hampshire on Saturday evening. SUU’s top score earned the T-Birds their first meet win of the season, defeating the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (194.975).
“We are still tuning up our floor routines but to be on the road and have every athlete place first, or tie for first, in each event is such a great accomplishment,” said head coach Scotty Bauman. “It was especially exciting to have Mikaela DeFilippo compete on floor for the first time in her career, especially since she is making a comeback from her knee injury last year. Moments like that are extremely rewarding when you see the hard work and discipline pay off that she, along with all the other girls, put into practice every day.”
Upon completion of the meet, Karley McClain was awarded the meet all-around crown as her 39.200 edged out UNH’s Riley Freehling’s 38.825. Caitlin Kho tied Kylie Gorgenyi for the vault title with a 9.800. Shylen Murakami claimed two event titles, her first on bars with a 9.875 and her second on beam with a 9.850. Hannah Nipp tied Hailey Lui for the floor title with a high score of 9.875.
The Thunderbirds started the evening off with two solid bar performances where both Nipp and Murakami stuck their landing, earning scores of 9.800 and 9.875. McClain also had a clean performance, anchoring the T-Birds lineup, posting a 9.850. Rozsa-Thompson was awarded a 9.825, respectively, followed by Stephanie Tervort who posed a 9.675. Southern Utah concluded their bar line up with a score of 49.025.
SUU had their second best performance of the night on beam where the team was awarded a 48.825. Murakami was the Thunderbirds’ top competitor on beam for the first time this season, earning a 9.850 followed by McClain and Nipp who both posted a 9.800. Rachel Smith earned a 9.750 followed by Autumn Jorgensen who posted a 9.625.
Vault, which is usually the T-Birds best event (ranked 11th in the nation), was their third best of the evening as they scored a 48.775. Kho was the Thunderbirds best competitor as she was awarded a 9.800. Rachel Smith was second in scoring with her 9.775, followed by Stephanie Tervort’s 9.750 and McClain and Madison McBride’s 9.725.
Hannah Nipp recorded an impressive high score of 9.875 on floor, followed closely by McClain and McBride who both earned a 9.825. Madison Loomis was awarded a 9.650 and Autumn Jorgensen a 9.600, which resulted in a 48.775 team score for the Thunderbirds.
The Southern Utah Gymnastics team is set to host the Cougars of Brigham Young University next Friday, January 24, inside the America First Event Center.
Story and photos by: SUU Athletics