Flippin’ Birds Set New School Record, Two Thunderbirds Claim Scores of 9.925

The Southern Utah gymnastics team competed in their final home meet of the season against the Utah State Aggies. The Thunderbirds claimed a new school record of 197.300, while the Aggies finished with 195.975.

The featured seniors during the meet were Morgan Alfaro, Mikaela DeFlippo, Molly Jozwiakowski, Alyssa LaDieu and Hannah Nipp.

“Whatever these guys do, trust me, they are going to be brutally successful in their lives,” head coach Scotty Bauman said. “I am so proud of them.”

Opening the meet was junior Karley McClain as she finished her vault routine with a 9.825. Rachel Smith and Morgan Alfaro both received a 9.9 for their performances. 

From Utah State, Rebecca Wells landed a 9.8. Teammate Leighton Verandore received a score of 9.875, giving her an event high for the Aggies.

SUU finished the vault event with a 49.275, while the Aggies trailed with 49.025 points.

Nikki Thomas kicked off the Thunderbirds’ time on the unparallel bars with a score of 9.650. Aubri Shwartze received a 9.850 for her routine.

At the conclusion of the event, Nipp controlled the event with a career high of 9.925 on the bars.

SUU claimed the first four spots overall for the event.

Utah State’s Eva Jackson earned herself a 9.8. Just behind her was Grace Rojas with 9.775.

The Thunderbirds headed into the last half of the meet with 98.575 while Utah State held a 97.600.

Shylen Murakami started off on the beam for the Thunderbirds. She concluded her evening in the America First Event Center with a 9.8. 

Nipp, McClain and Shwartze all received a 9.9, setting them up as the highest scorers for the Thunderbirds during the event.

In honor of her last home meet as a Thunderbird, LaDieu performed an exhibition routine on the beam, meaning that there was no score given.

Exhibition routines give gymnasts the chance to perform during the meet without scoring, while practicing in a meet environment.

Utah State’s DeHarde claimed the first spot overall and scored the highest for her team with a 9.925.

SUU finished their beam routines with a combined score of 49.300. Utah State received a 49.225 for their performances.

To conclude the night, SUU took to the floor. 

Schwartze landed a 9.875 with her routine and tied for third with Jozwiakowski.

McClain concluded her routine with an event high of 9.925 points. She claimed the first spot overall, along with teammate Nipp who was also awarded with her second 9.925 of the night.

“Just doing my thing, I mean it was senior night, I wanted to end my possibly last competition here well for myself and the team,” Nipp said.

DeHarde from Utah State maintained the highest score for her team with a 9.875. Wells finished just behind her with 9.850 points.

At the conclusion of the evening, SUU came out on top with a final score of 197.300. Utah State headed back to Logan with 195.975 points.

“I couldn’t wait to tell somebody. I was doing the math in my head and thought, ‘we totally beat our school record’, it was pretty cool,” Bauman said.

The Thunderbirds now await their next meet in Boise, Idaho to face the Boise State University Broncos on Feb. 27 at 6 p.m.

The meet can also be streamed on the Mountain West Digital Website.

Story by: Lainie Hallows
Photo by: Mitchell Quartz

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