Flippin’ Birds Finish Third at NCAA Regional Championship Semifinals

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – The Southern Utah gymnastics team saw their season come to an end Friday afternoon as they finished in third place in session one of the NCAA Regional Championship Semifinals. The Flippin’ Birds scored a 195.975, their highest score at the regional championship since 2015 when they scored a 196.275.

They edged out MRGC-opponent Boise State, who scored a 195.825, but fell to Utah and Arizona State, who will both move on to tomorrow’s regional final.

Southern Utah started the night on vault where they scored a 48.725 as a team. Morgan Alfaro had the high score with a 9.775 while both Karley McClain and Celine Barney scored a 9.750. Caitlin Kho and Rachel Smith rounded out the scoring with a 9.725 each.

On bars, the Flippin’ Birds hit their highest score of the afternoon with a 49.150 as a team. Mayson Bentley led the way with a 9.900, the highest score of the day on any event for the T-Birds. She also finished tied for second on the event overall, trailing only ASU’s Cairo Leonard-Baker who scored a 9.950. Caitlin Kho and Nikki Thomas both earned a 9.825 while Aubri Schwartze and Shylen Murakami both scored a 9.800.

The Thunderbirds next moved to beam where they scored a 48.975, led by a 9.850 from McClain. Hannah Nipp and Emma Wissman both scored a 9.825 and Murakami hit a 9.775. Schwartze rounded out the scoring with a 9.700.

The Flippin’ Birds finished strong on floor where they scored a 49.125, allowing them to move past Boise State for their third place finish. Schwartze, the reigning MRGC Freshman of the Year, led the way for Southern Utah on the event with a 9.875. McClain scored a 9.850, Kayla Horton hit a 9.825, and Caitlin Kho scored a 9.800. Both Nipp and Stephanie Tervort scored a 9.775 to round out the scoring.

Photo and story courtesy of SUU Athletics

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