McClain Repeats as Gymnast of the Week
CEDAR CITY, Utah - Graduate student Karley McClain is once again the Mountian Rim Gymnastics Conference Gymnast of the Week. McClain also holds the title of Floor Specialist of the week for the third straight week.
MAKING HER MARK
McClain competes in each event for the Flippin' Birds and has done very well this season. Her all-around contribution to the team scores have been impressive to say nothing of the consistency with which she scores. She has averaged 39.310, ranking her 29th in the country and second in the North Central region. Her average 9.900 score on the floor has her currently ranked 23rd in the event nationally.
McClain who last Friday scored a 39.100 has been the sole recipient of the Gymnast of the week award from the MRGC. Her performances this season have included some impressive scores on the various events and unrivaled consistency in the conference. McClain has scored 9.900 or better in each of the last four meets with her floor routine.
The Flippin' Birds went on the road to Boise State Friday evening and left ExtraMile Arena with a victory. Southern Utah earned its first win in Boise since 2008 with a 196.275-195.700 score.
The Thunderbirds started the evening off on the bars and finished the competition with some phenomenal beam routines. Graduate Student Karley McClain was the only T-Bird to walk away as an individual event champion scoring a 9.900 with her floor routine and finishing the all-around with a 39.100.
The Broncos proved to be as tough as they always are, living up to their #14 ranking on the beam by finishing with a 49.300. The Flippin' Birds were up to the task finishing with a 49.275 in the event to keep the scores close. Southern Utah also pulled off incredible wins on both the vault and floor to finish the meet in its favor.
The Flippin' Birds began the evening with the bars in the opening rotation. Graduate student Shylen Murakami set a good tone for the meet with her 9.875. McClain and junior Aubri Schwartze scored an identical 9.825. Caitlin Kho added a 9.800 to the scores while sophomore Isabella Neff rounded out the event with a 9.775.
Southern Utah held a lead after the first rotation and moved next to the vault. Freshman Kayla Pardue earned the top score for the T-Birds in the second event with her 9.825. Sophomore Ellie Cacciola contributed a big 9.800 and McClain punched in a 9.775. SUU finished off its scores with a 9.750 for graduate student Rachel Smith and a 9.725 for Kho.
The floor team for the Thunderbirds continued to impress with some beautiful routines. McClain showed why the floor has been a strength for the T-Birds all season scoring a 9.900. Smith and Schwartze scored a tenth of a point behind her at 9.800 and Cacciola added a 9.775. The final counted score of the event came from sophomore Taylor Gull who notched a 9.750.
Heading into the final rotation the Flippin' Birds were behind by a quarter of a point. SUU answered the call with an outstanding 49.275. Junior Hailey Vultaggio executed a highly technical routine when the team needed it most, putting up a 9.900. Cacciola and Murakami each added a 9.875 and Schwartze gave it all for a 9.825. Smith's 9.800 rounded off the T-Birds score for the event.
COACH SCOTT BAUMAN SAYS…
"I was really impressed with the girls tonight and their resilience. We left some points on the mat, which is a good thing because it shows that we can continue growing. I think it will lead to us peaking at the right time."
"I was very proud of the way the girls rallied on the beam. Even our exhibitions on beam went very well and that shows that we still have a lot of depth in our team."
"The meet felt very back and forth to that point (the fourth rotation) but standing toe to toe with them in their top event made the difference tonight. Boise is a very well-coached team and as the season goes on I look forward to some awesome routines that will push us to improve."
The Flippin' Birds will continue conference play next Friday when BYU comes to Cedar City for a dual meet. It will start at 7:00 p.m. MT at the America First Events Center.