Freshman Sofi Sullivan nearly recorded the first perfect 10 in program history on any event, helping Utah State's gymnastics team record its first victory of the season, 195.550-192.375 over Air Force on Saturday night at the Cadet West Gym.
The Aggies improved to 1-5 overall (0-3 Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference), while the Falcons fell to 1-3 overall (1-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation).
"I couldn't be more proud of this team," said third-year USU head coach Amy Smith. "We have a very frenetic pre-meet warmup and had to reel them in once warmups were over. They made the adjustments, came out and delivered. The resolve and focus of the team tonight was awesome. They didn't back down and just kept building with the crescendo being that spectacular beam rotation."
Sullivan capped the meet for the Aggies by notching a school-record 9.975 on beam to win the event title. She also won the all-around with a career-best 39.325.
"Beam is the most exciting event for me, so being able to go up there and do my routine just how I practice it every day is the best feeling," Sullivan said. "Setting the school record and helping the team win was the exclamation point of the night."
The Aggies notched a season-high 49.200 on beam, a score that is tied for sixth all-time in school history. Junior Autumn DeHarde placed second on the event with a 9.900, sophomore Carley Bayles made her collegiate debut by tying for third with a 9.800 and junior Leighton Varnadore had a 9.775 to place fifth.
"Leighton set the tone on beam and everyone followed suit," Smith said. "The back end of the lineup with Autumn and Sofi was absolute fire. For Sofi to set the school record in just her third meet is beyond amazing. What a great way to close out a great night."
Utah State opened the meet on bars and tied its season high on the event with a 48.725. Sophomore Grace Rojas placed second with a 9.800, while Sullivan and senior Brittany Jeppesen each had a 9.775 to tie for third.
Moving to vault in the second rotation, the Aggies again notched a 48.725. Varnadore led the way for USU on that event with a 9.825 to tie for second, while Rojas and Sullivan had matching 9.775s to tie for fourth.
At the midway point of the meet, Utah State led 97.450-96.075.
After stumbling on floor a week ago at the BYU tri meet, the Aggies bounced back in a big way against the Falcons. Utah State recorded a season-high 48.950 on the event as DeHarde took second with a 9.875 and Sullivan tied for third with a career-high 9.800.
Utah State returns to action on Friday, Jan. 31, when the Aggies travel to Cedar City, Utah, to take on in-state rival Southern Utah (2-4, 1-2 MRGC), at 7 p.m., at the America First Event Center.
Fans can follow the Aggie gymnastics program at twitter.com/USUGymnastics, on Facebook at Utah State Gymnastics, and on Instagram at USUGymnastics. Fans can also follow the USU athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at UtahStateAthletics.
Utah State at Air Force – USAFA, Colo. – Cadet West Gym – Jan. 25, 2020
Team Results: 1. Utah State – 195.550 (vault: 48.725, bars: 48.725, beam: 49.200, floor: 48.950); 2. Air Force – 192.375 (vault: 48.475, bars: 47.600, beam: 47.475, floor: 48.825).
Vault: 1. Anna Salamone – AFA, 9.850; T2. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.825; T2. Heidi Sand – AFA, 9.825; T4. Grace Rojas – USU, 9.775; T4. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.775; T7. Mikaela Meyer – USU, 9.675; T7. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9.675; 10. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.475
Bars: 1. Anna Salamone – AFA, 9.900; 2. Grace Rojas – USU, 9.800; T3. Brittany Jeppesen – USU, 9.775; T3. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.775; 5. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.725; 7. Annie Beck – USU, 9.650; 11. Maia Fishwick – USU, 9.150.
Beam: 1. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.975; 2. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.900; T3. Carley Bayles – USU, 9.800; T3. Daija Stevenson – AFA, 9.800; 5. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.775; Taylor Dittmar – USU, 9.750; 9. Tori Loomis – USU, 9.500.
Floor: 1. Tyler Davis – AFA, 9.925; 2. Autumn DeHarde – USU, 9.875; T3. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.800; T3. Pixie Brock – AFA, 9.800; 5. Ariel Toomey – USU, 9.775; Mikaela Meyer – USU, 9.750; T8. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 9.700; 12. Elle Golison – USU, 8.275.
All-Around: 1. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 39.325; 2. Leighton Varnadore – USU, 39.025.