The Southern Utah University gymnastics team will travel to Boise State University to compete against another Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference rival. Of four teams in the MRGC, Southern Utah is first in the standings and Boise State is fourth.
With SUU’s Caitlyn and Kaylee Kho having their younger sister Sydney on the BSU roster, this meet could see the three siblings competing together.
In their last meet, the Thunderbirds took down the Utah State University Aggies 196.600-193.425. Their performance earned them seven MRGC weekly awards. Ellie Cacciola and Kayla Pardue, along with Boise State’s Emily Lopez, were named co-Vault Specialists of the Week after each scored 9.850 in the event. Shylen Murakami earned Bars Specialist of the Week alongside Brigham Young University’s Anyssa Alvarado for her 9.925 score in the event. Cacciola and BSU’s Lopez both scored 9.925 on the balance beam and were named Beam Specialists of the Week. Karley McClain and Rachel Smith earned Floor Specialist of the Week honors for their 9.925 scores. McClain was also named Gymnast of the Week for the third week in a row.
Cacciola and Pardue are SUU’s top vault performers. They are tied for the MRGC’s best vault score of the year with 9.850.
Murakami is tied for the second best score in the conference when it comes to the uneven bars. Her 9.925 also makes her the top scorer for the Thunderbirds. McClain and Trista Goodman follow Murakami closely, both having scored 9.900 in the event.
Cacciola leads both the team and the conference with the top score on the balance beam after the 9.925 she scored last week. Aubri Schwartze is not far behind with her 9.900.
McClain has earned three of the five best conference scores in the floor event. She has scored 9.925 twice, the highest score of the year. Smith matched that score when the two tied for Floor Specialists of the Week after their last meet.
The Broncos’ last meet resulted in a close loss to BYU. They fell 195.425-195.300 and are now 0-4 overall on the season.
Emily Lopez is tied with SUU’s Cacciola and Pardue for the top MRGC vault score. Adriana Popp is BSU’s second best scorer in the event, having put up 9.825.
On the bars, Lopez stands alone with the best conference score of the year. Her 9.950 is the best score any MRGC gymnast has put up in any event so far. Courtney Blackson is right behind her with 9.925.
Overall, beam is Boise State’s strongest event. They have three competitors appearing on the top 10 list in the conference. Including Lopez twice, she is tied for the top score of 9.925.
Blackson is the Broncos’ only gymnast appearing in the top 10 for the floor event. Her 9.875 makes her the team’s top scorer.
The meet will be at 7 p.m. MST on Friday, Jan. 27. It will take place in the ExtraMile Arena in Boise and can be streamed on the Mountain West Network.
Story and photos by: Anden Garfield