CEDAR CITY, Utah - The Flippin' Birds are headed to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation conference championship this weekend in Sacramento, California. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. MT at The Nest on Saturday, March 23. Southern Utah will take on UC Davis, Alaska Anchorage, and the host Sacramento State in the hope of earning their first-ever MPSF Conference Championship.

The Flippin' Birds are coming off a third-place finish at the Washington quad meet, scoring 196.525. Southern Utah currently sits at No. 32 nationally and is the top-rated team in the MPSF coming into the meet. To add to the excitement of the championship, the conference released the major awards and all-conference recognitions on Thursday afternoon, and the Thunderbirds earned many accolades for their outstanding season so far.

Meet Information

Southern Utah at MPSF Championships

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024

March In: 4:00 PM MT

Venue: The Nest

Live Stats: Live Stats

Broadcast: Watch Live

Coach Scotty Bauman Said

"I am incredibly proud of our athletes and coaches for the recognition they have received, but the job isn't done yet. We still have a lot to compete for, and I am excited to get our athletes out there and show the whole conference what we can do."

MPSF Accolades

The Flippin' Birds received many conference honors when the MPSF announced the yearly accolades on Thursday. Freshman Niya Randolph was named the Gymnast of the Year, while fellow freshman Brinlee Christensen received the honor of Freshman of the Year. Associate head coach Jamie Wysong, along with fellow long-time assistant coach Jeff Richards, were named the conference Assistant Coaches of the Year.

Junior Ellie Cacciola and sophomore Kayla Pardue earned first-team All-MPSF honors on the vault. Senior Aubri Schwartze, junior Isabella Neff, sophomore Trista Goodman, and Freshman Niya Randolph swept the first-team honors on the bars. Freshman Alyssa Fernandez joined sophomore Kennedi McClain and Cacciola in being recognized as first-team All-MPSF on the balance beam. Randolph was also named first-team All-MPSF on the floor and all around. Randolph received second-team honors on the vault and balance beam. Cacciola, Christensen, and junior Taylor Gull earned second-team recognition for their outstanding floor work this season.

To read more about the Flippin' Birds accolades and see the release from the conference, click here.

The Competition

UC Davis

UC Davis Gymnastics has emerged as a contender for the MPSF title, propelled by the extraordinary talents of its standout performers like Keanna Abraham and Megan Ray. Abraham has been outstanding in various events this season, including posting a 9.925 on both the vault and floor. Ray, meanwhile, has been a standout on the bars. Anna Holtan's flawless execution commands attention as she has scored a team-high 9.950 on the beam to tie the MPSF record. Together, these athletes epitomize the essence of UC Davis Gymnastics, captivating audiences with their artistry, athleticism, and unwavering determination. Ranked 49th in vault, 47th in bars, 39th in beam, and 42nd in floor, the Aggies could be tough competition this weekend.

Alaska Anchorage

The University of Alaska Anchorage has achieved the third-highest number of dual victories in its program history this season, coming close to the record of nine set in 1986 and 2005. Additionally, this season, the Seawolves have notably secured four top-25 scores on the balance beam, with their 48.400 score at Brown tying for the fourth spot and their 48.600 score at Centenary ranking at number 12. Their performance on the uneven bars saw a total of 48.675 at Bridgeport, marking the seventh-best score in program history and the second-best in a regular-season road meet. Furthermore, their floor score of 48.850 at Northern Illinois matched the sixth-highest mark in school history and represented UAA's best performance since 2016. Moreover, UAA's vault average of 47.895 and NQS of 48.040 are the team's best on that apparatus since 2016.

Sacramento State

Sacramento State Gymnastics is making strides in NCAA rankings, holding the 55th spot overall. Their consistent performance across all apparatuses reflects their improvement this season, with the beam being their strongest at 47th nationally. Vault, bars, and floor events have earned ranks of 56th, 55th, and 60th, respectively. The last time the Thunderbirds and Hornets squared off was last week in Washington. Southern Utah took home the head-to-head victory, outscoring Sacramento State 196.525-195.350.

Southern Utah Notes

  • The Thunderbirds had a historic performance at home vs BYU, scoring 197.125. (3rd best in program history and a MPSF conference record)
  • Southern Utah is ranked #34 on the vault, #19 on bars, #31 on beam, and #44 on Floor.
  • Sophomore Trista Goodman scored a 9.950 on the bars last home meet, setting a new career high as well as matching the team high for the season.
  • Randolph set a new school and conference record for the all-around with a 39.600 against BYU earlier this season.
  • The Thunderbirds set a new School and Conference record on the bars against Penn State, scoring 49.475.
  • Freshman Niya Randolph has been named the MPSF conference Gymnast of the Year for her outstanding consistency in the all-around.
  • Freshman Brinlee Christensen was named the MPSF Freshman of the Year for her outstanding debut season.
  • The Flippin' Birds have swept the first-team All-MPSF, with the top four bars workers in the conference coming from Southern Utah.
  • Southern Utah has three returning gymnasts who finished the season ranked in the top 100 nationally, including Kayla Pardue (#83 Vault), Aubri Schwartze (#96 Floor), and Ellie Cacciola (#51 Beam).
  • The Thunderbirds have six gymnasts ranked in the top 100 nationally across various events.
  • The Thunderbirds are coached by Scott Bauman, who was named the MRGC Coach of the Year in 2023.
  • Associate Head Coach Jamie Wysong and Assistant Coach Jeff Richards were named Assistant Coaches of the Year for the MPSF conference.

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