GYMNASTICS CONTINUES LIFE ON THE ROAD; FACES No. 20 DENVER ON SATURDAY
• The Sacramento State gymnastics team will cap its three-meet road swing when it travels to Denver, Colo., to take on the Pioneers on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 5 p.m. PST.
• Live stats for the meet can be viewed at denverpioneers.com.
• Sacramento State is 4-6 following a close loss at Utah State on Feb. 17. The Hornets scored 193.400 but counted a fall on bars in the loss. The team moved into a tie for 42nd place in the latest rankings but are sure to jump next week when the rankings are sorted by Regional Qualifying Score.
• The trip will be the first to the Mile High City for Sacramento State since 1996. The two teams met last season at the Hornets Nest with the Pioneers recording a 193.975-191.675 victory.
• Denver is ranked 20th with a season average of 194.829. The Pioneers, who are in their first season in the Western Athletic Conference, are 5-4 overall.
• DU’s four losses have come against Georgia, Nebraska, Missouri and Ohio State. Those four teams are tied for third, ninth, 17th and 11th, respectively, in this week’s rankings.
• The Pioneers have dominated the WAC weekly awards this season, including a sweep this past week. The Gymnast of the Week Award went to Melodie Pulgarin Linero while Moriah Martin was named Specialist of the Week for the fourth time this season.
THE LAST TIME OUT
After a disastrous start in which Sacramento State had its first two gymnasts of the meet fall on bars, the team nearly pulled off a dramatic comeback against Utah State. In the end, however, the Aggies held on for a 193.875-193.400 win at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Sacramento State defeated Utah State in three of the four events and were helped by a win on vault from senior Emiko Ono and a tie for first on floor from Kailey Hansen.
A LITTLE MATH
Despite counting a fall, the Hornets were still able to increase their season average as well as their RQS. With seven meets in the books, Sacramento State has an RQS of 192.950. However, the team is still counting a 191.875 and a 191.575 toward its score. If the Hornets were to score at least 194.000 this weekend, it would raise their RQS to 193.435 which would put them near the top 36.
A school’s RQS is calculated by taking its top six scores (three of which must be away from home), dropping the best mark and then averaging the remaining five. At the end of the year, the top 36 teams based on RQS will advance to an NCAA regional.
The Hornets were able to do some one-stop shopping last year, recruiting high school classmates Kalliah McCartney, Kayla Wonderly and Dallas Smith from CAM High School in Washington. Not only has the trio all made immediate impacts in competition, they each arrived on campus with their AA degree complete due to a program which allowed them to take college courses while still in high school.
Once at Sacramento State, McCarthy has established herself as one of the top freshmen in the West. She has competed as an all-arounder in every meet and set the school freshman record with a 39.200 against Southern Utah.
Wonderly had held the leadoff position on beam in each meet and set her career high with a 9.750 at Utah State last week. She is also recovering from an elbow injury and, once healed, could vie for a spot on bars.
Smith might be the biggest surprise of the three. The walk-on has followed the mold that Katie Osaki set last season, earning a starting spot in two events as a freshman. Smith has season highs of 9.725 on floor and 9.625 on beam.
A NEW ALL-AROUNDER
Kaila Kilwein competed in all four events for the first time in her career at Utah State but did not earn an all-around score. The sophomore, who is a regular on vault, bars and floor, performed an exhibition on beam for her fourth score. Kilwein would have scored 38.425 if all her routines were part of the competition.
A reminder that next week’s home meet against Alaska Anchorage will now start at 1 p.m.