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It was a solid night for Utah State’s gymnastics team, but BYU was just too good.

The 12th-ranked Cougars had the lead after the first rotation and never looked back en route to beating the 21st-ranked Aggies 196.325 to 195.175 on Friday at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

The Aggies put together their best performance on the beam, which was their third rotation. USU finished with a 49.150 on the apparatus. A BYU gymnast won the event, but the Aggies swept the next four spots, led by Brianna Brooks and Rebecca Wells, who both recorded scores of 9.875.

USU started on vault and was credited with a score of 48.650. Mikaela Meyer won the event with an impressive score of 9.900. Leighton Varnadore was USU’s next highest scorer with a 9.775.

Utah State’s lowest score of the evening came on bars, which was the team’s second rotation. The Aggies finished with a 48.525, led by Eve Jackson’s 9.800. Brooks and Jessica Gutierrez chipped in with scores of 9.750 for the hosts.

The Aggies finished the dual meet off strong by posting a 48.850 on floor. Autumn DeHarde paced the hosts with a 9.825 floor score, followed by Ariel Toomey with a 9.800.

This was USU’s second straight dual meet at home as it lost a 196.650 to 196.225 nailbiter to Southern Utah last Friday.


The Aggies kicked off their 2021 campaign by dispatching of Dixie State 7-0 on Friday at the Sports Academy & Racquet Club. USU won all six singles matches in straight sets and captured the doubles point by prevailing in two of the three matches.

True freshman Naya Tillitt embarked on her Aggie career by earning a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Dixie State’s Rachel Mellor at the No. 5 singles position. Tillitt was a four-time state champion at No. 1 singles for Ridgeline.

Carolina Millan (No. 1), Zara Ryan (No. 2), Annaliese County (No. 3), Sidnee Lavatai (No. 4) and Lillian Okamoto (No. 6) also won their singles matches for the Aggies. USU’s triumphant doubles teams were comprised of Millan/Lavatai (No. 1) and Ryan/Lisa Küng (No. 2).

USU’s second match of the season will take place against Idaho State on Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Sports Academy.

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

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