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They didn’t win, but it was still a very memorable night for the Aggies.

Utah State’s gymnastics team shined in its home opener, although it wasn’t quite enough against rival Southern Utah. The 19th-ranked Thunderbirds edged the 24th-ranked Aggies by a score of 196.650 to 196.225 on Friday evening at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

The Aggies improved considerably from their season opener, when they recorded a team score of 194.350 at the Rio Tinto Best of Utah Meet on Jan. 9. USU was able to beat SUU at that meet as the T-birds finished with a score of 194.325.

The lowest score the Aggies had to count Friday was a 9.700, both on vault and floor. USU broke the 39.000 barrier on the beam (49.275) and on bars (49.225), plus posted solid scores of 48.875 on floor and 48.850 on the vault.

Maia Fiskwick was outstanding for the hosts on the bars as she won the event with a 9.950. Eve Jackson finished second for Utah State (9.850), followed closely behind by teammates Grace Rojas (9.825) and Brianna Brooks (9.825).

USU’s Autumn DeHarde eclipsed the 9.900 barrier with her impressive score of 9.925 on the beam, which was good enough for first place. Leighton Varnadore and Taylor Dittmar were awarded 9.850s for the Aggies on that apparatus.

Mikaela Meyer’s 9.850 on vault matched SUU’s Morgan Alfaro for the top score in the dual meet, while Meyer’s Aggie teammates Logan Varnadore and Rebecca Wells each posted scores of 9.775.

Wells was awarded a team-best floor score of 9.850 for the Aggies, while Leighton Varnadore finished with a 9.800.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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