The Hornet gymnastics team (3-3) will look to move up in the West Regional rankings as the Hornets host Boise State in their home opener on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. in Hornet Gym. With the top six positions of the West Region earning a trip to Oregon for Regionals, the Broncos (seventh, 190.625) and Sacramento State (10th, 189.383) are currently on the outside looking in. Cal State Fullerton holds the sixth spot with an average score of 192.025.
Sacramento State will look to rebound from their collapse on beam against UC Davis on Feb. 1, at Recreation Hall. Even though the Hornets came away with the 190.850-190.275 victory, the squad was in position to crack the top five scores in program history and make a significant jump in the team rankings. The Hornets are currently 54th in the nation.
Boise State (2-4) enters the contest ranked 47th nationally after coming off a home win against longtime rival Utah State (192.775-192.550) last Friday at Boise State Pavillion. Since moving to Div. I in 1992, Sacramento State is 0-4 all-time against Boise State.
Last season, the Hornets and Broncos met on only one occasion as Boise State defeated Sacramento State 194.525-191.975 in Boise, Idaho, on Feb. 3. Junior Tiffany Weston led the Broncos with a meet-high 39.025 all-around including first-place finishes on floor (9.85) and beam (9.85). The Hornets were led by sophomore Toni Petersen?s 38.450 all-around and senior Jolane Parr?s 9.8 on floor.
HEAD COACH KIM HUGHES
After 19 years, head coach Kim Hughes has built a program from the ground up and has solidified Sacramento State as a contender in the NCAA West Region.
With a career record of 161-159-1, Hughes has led the Hornets to consecutive Western Independent Conference championships in 2000 and 2001. He will now lead his program into the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in 2002.
Hughes also guided Sacramento State to a second-place finish at the National Invitational Tournament in 2000 and gave the program its first Regional bid in 1999 while also being named NCAA Region 1 Coach of the Year.
THE BOISE STATE BRONCOS
Sam Sandmire enters her 15th season at the helm of the Boise State gymnastics program and has compiled a 157-133-1 overall record. Sandmire led the Broncos to a first-place finish in three of the last five Big West Conference Championships (1997, ?98 & ?00) and 15-consecutive NCAA Regional appearances. In addition, Sandmire was named NCAA West Region Coach of the Year in 1995-96 and also received Big West Coach of the Year honors in 1997 and 2000.
In 2001, Sandmire led Boise State to a 10-8 overall record and a fifth-place finish at the West Regionals on April 7 at UCLA in Pauley Pavillion. This season, the Broncos are led by three all-arounders; freshman Carla Chambers, junior Breanne Holmes and senior Jamie Johns.
PREVIOUS MEET RECAP
Junior Toni Petersen finished with a meet-high 38.750 in all-around to lead the Hornets to a 190.850-190.275 victory over UC Davis on Feb. 1 at Recreation Hall. It was the first meet in which the Hornets broke the 190-plateau this season.
The Hornets led by nearly four points (145.300-141.350) over the Aggies after three rotations with season-high scores on vault (48.300) and floor and a 48.475 on bars. In the final event, five of six competitors fell off the beam for the Hornets while UC Davis recorded a season-high 48.925 on floor. Petersen?s team-high 9.625 and sophomore Binta Coleman?s 9.275 allowed the Hornets to withstand the Aggies? late rally.
Along with the all-around, Petersen led all competitors with a bars score of 9.775. The Fresno, Calif., native also finished second overall on beam with her 9.625. Coleman finished with a meet-high 9.725 on vault while also placing tied for third in all-around with a 38.150.
Also finishing in the top three for the Hornets were senior Lara Goold (9.7, 2nd) on vault, freshman Meloney Greer (9.750, 2nd) and senior Lori Gillette (9.725, third) on bars and freshman Stefanie Aeder (9.825, 2nd) on floor.
UC Davis was led by senior Brianne Bray?s 38.400 all-around which placed her second in the meet. The Aggies were without bar and floor champion Ericka Ruelas who missed the meet due to a family emergency.
HORNETS REACH "NIRVANA"
It took a lot of time, effort and patience from the Hornet coaching staff to bring in freshman Nirvana Zaher. But after her performance at UC Davis, she proved that she was worth the wait and that there is more to come.
The Cairo, Egypt, native had to sit out the first two meets of the season due to final transcript clearance from the NCAA Clearinghouse but became eligible early last week.
She was inserted into the lineup on Friday as a two-event specialist and helped contribute to the Hornets? win against the Aggies with a 9.625 on vault and a score of 9.65 on floor.
A two-time Egyptian national champion (1998 & 2001), Zaher had competed in Namibia, Jordan, South Africa, Tunisia and Cyprus before adding the U.S. to her list on Feb. 1.
Junior Toni Petersen picked a good time to record her highest all-around performance last Friday at UC Davis with a meet-high 38.750.
With the Hornets holding a four-point advantage over the Aggies heading into the final rotation, Sacramento State looked poised for a score that would crack the program?s top five.
What resulted was four of six competitors falling on beam and UC Davis recording a season high on floor exercise to close the gap.
Petersen?s score of 9.625 on beam not only placed her second in the meet but it also gave the Hornets enough points to overcome the Aggies? late charge, 190.850-190.275.
Besides the beam and all-around, the Fresno, Calif., native also finished first on bars with a 9.775. She also recorded a 9.6 on vault and a 9.750 on floor.
HORNETS FIND A NEW NESTING PLACE
After spending the past six seasons in the Western Independent Conference, Sacramento State will now call the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation home. The MPSF recently added women?s gymnastics as its eighth sport along with men?s soccer, men?s and women?s water polo, men?s and women?s indoor track and field, men?s gymnastics and men?s volleyball.
The Hornets will be joined by Air Force, San Jose State, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara in the inaugural season. The Spartans and Aggies make their way from the disbanded Western Independent Conference, the Gauchos leave the Big West Conference while Air Force drops its independent status. The first conference championship will be held on Saturday, March 23, at U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
COLEMAN EARNS FIRST MPSF HONOR
Sophomore Binta Coleman earned Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Women Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 21 after her performance at UC Santa Barbara. The Elk Grove, Calif., native recorded a 37.925 all-around to lead the Hornets (189.900) to a first-place finish against Towson (187.675) and the host Gauchos (183.175). Coleman tied for third on vault (9.525), tied for fourth on beam (9.675), placed sixth on floor (9.525) while recording the second-highest all-around score at Robertson Gym.
She has led the Hornets as their top all-arounder in two of three meets this season. The sophomore also tied her career high on bars with a 9.775 at the Maui Invitational on Jan. 4 at War Memorial Gymnasium.
NEWS FROM THE INJURY FRONT
Senior Wendy Baisdon, the program?s bar champion with a 9.950, will look to make her first appearance of the 2002 season this weekend against Boise State after recovering from ACL surgery during the off-season. The Ceres, Calif., native has not competed since March, 10, 2000. The coaching staff will look for her to compete on the beam and possibly bars.
Senior Karen Sorensen, a three event specialist (bars, beam, floor), has sat out the past nine weeks with a neck injury after falling off of the uneven bars during a practice routine. Coaches say her return will be determined on a day-to-day basis.
Prescott injured her right ankle on floor exercise while attempting to land her final pass at the Maui Invitational. The sprain will keep the Elk Grove, Calif., native out of competition for at least one more week.