• In search of its third Western Athletic Conference title, the Sacramento State gymnastics team will travel to Cedar City, Utah for the WAC Championships on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT.
• The Hornets captured the first two WAC gymnastics titles, winning in 2006 and 2007. The second of those titles came at Southern Utah where the team scored 195.275.
• Last season, Sacramento State finished second with a total of 195.675 which is the second highest score in school history. Denver won the team title with an impressive total of 196.350.
• SUU will provide live stats for the meet as well as a free video stream through its website (suutbirds.com).
• This year's meet will be the final WAC Championship for gymnastics. With the departure of Utah State, Boise State and San Jose State to the Mountain West Conference, there will be no WAC teams remaining that sponsor gymnastics. Sacramento State is expected to return to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation next season.
THE LAST TIME OUT
Sacramento State closed its regular season with its only two-meet week. The Hornets competed at UC Davis with Air Force on Friday before hosting Air Force on Saturday.
Sacramento State began the week with a team score of 194.875 but finished second to the host Aggies (195.625). Kalliah McCartney tied for first on vault and had the top score on beam and Nicole Meiller won bars to lead the Hornets.
On Sunday, the Hornets claimed all four individual event titles as well as the all-around en route to a team score of 194.925.
The two scores this past weekend guaranteed that Sacramento State will end the year with its highest RQS in school history. The Hornets currently own an RQS of 194.740 which easily surpasses the mark of 194.470 from last year. Since 2001, the Hornets have had an RQS of at least 194 seven times.
NO PLACE LIKE SUU
The Centrum at Southern Utah has been kind to Sacramento State over the last few seasons. The team won its second WAC title in Cedar City in 2007 with a team score of 195.275. That year, Marina Borisova was the conference champion on floor and Melissa Genovese captured the title on floor.
The Hornets' high score from this season — and the ninth-highest score in school history — came at SUU. Sacramento State tallied a 195.250 in the meet on Feb. 15.
A year after being named the WAC Freshman of the Year, Kalliah McCartney avoided a sophomore slump with another amazing season. The Vancouver, Wash., native ranks second in the conference in the all-around and on beam. She is also eighth on floor, tied for 10th on vault and tied for 12th on beam.
McCartney is on pace to have the greatest season by a Sacramento State gymnast in school history. She currently averages 39.084 in the all-around and would become the first Hornet to finish the year with an average above 39 in a year. Borisova currently holds the school record at 38.888 in 2009. McCartney is also set to become the first Sacramento State to average 9.800 on beam. In her 11 meets this year, she's averaged 9.800 in the event. Her average of 9.798 on vault would place her third and her mark of 9.814 on floor would tie for sixth in school single-season history.
PLAYING A MAN DOWN
Sacramento State will be without the services of freshman all-arounder Cassie Benning for the WAC Championships. Benning, who was limited last week due to an ankle injury, damaged her elbow in practice and will not compete. During the season, the Roseville, Calif., native had two meets of 39-plus in the all-around and had individual victories on vault (1) and floor (2).
THIS & THAT
Due to pneumonia, head coach Kim Hughes was unable to travel with the team on Thursday. Hughes is hoping to join the squad prior to the meet…junior Kaila Kilwein finished first on bars against Air Force for her first career win in any event…defending WAC floor and beam champion Kailey Hansen made her season debut on floor but fell in both routines. Hansen did win beam on Sunday with a season high of 9.875…the Hornets' beam score of 48.950 against the Falcons is the ninth-highest in program history.
WAC CHAMPIONSHIPS UP NEXT FOR GYMNASTICS ON SATURDAY