GYMNASTICS MEETS SOUTHERN UTAH ON FRIDAY NIGHT
• The Sacramento State gymnastics team will travel to Cedar City, Utah, to face Southern Utah on Friday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m PT.
• For the second consecutive week, the Hornets will be competing in a breast cancer awareness meet. Proceeds from this meet will go to Unite for HER, a non-profit organization that focusses on athletes, judges and coaches battling breast cancer within the sport of gymnastics.
• Sacramento State comes in with a 2-8 overall record after finishing fourth at a quad meet hosted by UCLA. The fourth-ranked Bruins won the meet with a score of 196.950 and were followed by #25 Washington (195.950), UC Davis (194.675) and the Hornets (193.925).
• Southern Utah is 3-5 but has posted season highs in its last two meets. Most recently, the Thunderbirds scored 195.475 in a loss at Denver (196.400). SUU scored at least 48.650 on all four rotations and had 10 scores of 9.8 or better, including all six on floor.
• There will be a video stream of the meet provided through BigSkyTV.org. The stream is free but users must register.
THE LAST TIME OUT
The Hornets fell into an immediate hole, scoring 47.850 on beam in the first rotation which left them nearly a full point behind the rest of the field. Kalliah McCartney had the highest score on the team with a 9.625 which tied her for 17th place overall. Cassie Benning added a 9.600.
Sacramento State got back on track during the second rotation, scoring 48.825 on floor. McCartney tied for fourth overall with a 9.850 and Benning tied for seventh after receiving a 9.800. Senior Cayla Beutler and junior Katie Osaki contributed a 9.775 and 9.750, respectively.
The third rotation took the team to vault where the team counted five scores ranging from 9.650 to 9.775 resulting in a 48.425. McCartney (9.775) and Benning (9.725), once again, had the two scores on the team.
The Hornets concluded the meet on bars where it amassed a season-high total of 48.825. Senior Nicole Meiller scored 9.850 to tie for third overall and lead the team. Kaila Kilwein followed with a 9.825 and Cayla Beutler and Cassie Benning each scored 9.775.
For the first time this season, McCartney did not win the all-around. The title on Sunday went to UCLA’s Vanessa Zamarripa who totaled 39.625 with wins on vault, beam and floor. Benning was fourth at 38.900 and McCartney scored 38.375.
Seniors Cayla Beutler and Nicole Meiller have each recorded career highs on bars in 2013. Beutler scored 9.775 at the UCLA Quad while Meiller had a 9.900 against Seattle Pacific.
The pair have both been fixtures in the Sacramento State lineup since their freshmen seasons. Beutler has performed as an all-arounder but currently is a regular on bars, beam and floor.
Meiller has been the team’s anchor on bars the last two seasons and is currently averaging 9.819 on the event. After beginning the year with a 9.650, she has averaged 9.875 over her last three routines.
BENNING MAKES HER MARK
Freshman Cassie Benning was the most consistent Hornet gymnast at UCLA, hitting all four of her routines and ending the meet with a 38.900 in the all-around. Benning scored 9.725 on vault, 9.775 on bars, 9.600 on beam and 9.800 on floor. While none of those scores set season highs, her all-around total was her second best of the year and just .10 away from matching her high of 39.000 against Seattle Pacific.
Over the last four meets, the Roseville, Calif., native is averaging 9.756 on vault and bars and 9.806 on floor.
Benning’s efforts follow Kalliah McCartney was named the WAC Freshman of the Year in 2012. During that season, McCartney scored 39-plus in the all-around six times.
LINEUP BEGINNING TO TAKE SHAPE
As the team continues to get all its pieces back, Sacramento State’s lineup is getting closer to the one Kim Hughes projected before the year began. Last week, Kailey Hansen returned on beam and she is scheduled to perform an exhibition on vault at Southern Utah.
Las Vegas native Tina Necas will perform on three events, making the lineup on vault and performing exhibitions on bars and beam.