Flippin’ Birds top Broncos, stay No. 1 in MRGC

In a conference matchup between Southern Utah University and Boise State University on Jan. 27, SUU came out on top, 196.275-195.700. Southern Utah remains at the top of the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference standings, and Boise State stays at the bottom.


Kayla Pardue put up the top score for the Thunderbirds in the vault event with her 9.825. Ellie Cacciola came in just behind her with a 9.800. The highest score of the event came from the Broncos’ Emily Lopez, who matched the conference high of 9.850. SUU scored 48.875 as a team, topping BSU’s 48.775 in the event.


Shylen Murakami’s 9.875 was Southern Utah’s best on the uneven bars, while Karley McClain and Aubri Schwartze each scored 9.825. Boise State’s Lopez and Courtney Blackson both put up 9.925 to help the Broncos outscore the Thunderbirds in the event, 49.175-49.100.


SUU’s Hailey Vultaggio tied her career high of 9.900 on the balance beam, giving the Thunderbirds their highest score of the event. BSU’s Emma Loyim and Adriana Popp each matched the MRGC high by scoring 9.925. Despite the beam being Southern Utah’s strongest event of the night, Boise State’s 49.300 still topped their 49.275.


McClain came through for the Thunderbirds on the floor, earning the highest score of the event with 9.900. She now has four of the top seven scores in the MRGC for the floor event this year. Schwartze and Rachel Smith each scored 9.800 for SUU, while Alyssa Vutaj and Elaina McGovern earned 9.825 each for BSU. Overall, Southern Utah took advantage of Boise State’s lowest event score of the meet of 48.450 by putting up 49.025 and ultimately pulling off the close win.

Looking ahead

The Thunderbirds will return home for their next meet to take on Brigham Young University. It will be on Friday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. MST.


Story and photos by: Anden Garfield