Flippin’ Birds to challenge conference team at USU

After a record-breaking victory against Brigham Young University last week, Southern Utah University will travel to Logan, to take on the Utah University Aggies. SUU remains first in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference, while Utah State University is ranked fourth. 

Southern Utah University

The Flippin’ Birds head to the meet on Friday ranked No. 21 in the Road to Nationals rankings with an average score of 196.429. In their last meet against BYU, they scored an overall high score of 197.125 on the road. 

They also are ranked No. 21 on the bars, No. 19 on the beam and No. 21 on the floor. 

In their last meet, SUU’s vault score was tied with the third-highest vault score in SUU history. Kayla Pardue earned SUU’s high score with a 9.875, and Ellie Cacciola and Caitlin Kho weren’t far behind with a 9.850.

On the bars, Shylen Murakami earned a 9.925, tying with her category high score for the season. Mayson Bentley followed with a 9.850.

Rachel Smith took the Flippin’ Birds’ high score on the beam with a 9.900, which was also second overall for the event. Hailey Vultaggio scored only slightly less with a 9.875.

It was on the floor that the Flippin’ Birds were able to truly flourish with a season best of 49.500. Not only did Karley McClain take the MRGC’s Floor Specialist of the Week title for the fifth week in a row with a score of 9.925, but she was also joined by Aubri Shwartze. Taylor Gull earned the second overall high score of 9.900. 

Utah State University

Last week, the Aggies fought against conference team Boise State University and ended with a 196.075-193.325 loss. USU is 1-5 in conference meets, none of which have occurred in their home gym.

The Aggies started behind after the first ration and were never able to catch up, scoring slightly behind the Broncos in every event. 

This was particularly true on the floor, where only five gymnasts were able to compete. One of the gymnasts, freshman Avery Bibbey, was a last-minute addition to the floor lineup after a warm-up injury to another member of the team. 

However, despite their shortcomings, USU remains a competitive team with many of their gymnasts tying career bests against Boise State. 

Meet details

The meet will take place at 7 p.m. MST on Friday, Feb. 17. It will be located in the Den Glen Smith Spectrum.


Story by: Audrey Gee


Photos courtesy of SUU Athletics