Flippin’ Birds taking on two nationally-ranked teams


CEDAR CITY- The Southern Utah gymnastics team will compete against two top-15 teams this weekend as they host the No. 11 Washington Huskies on Saturday and travel to No. 12 Denver on Monday.

The Flippin’ Birds are coming off of a 195.850-195.775 home victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes. This was the second-highest score of the season for the T-Birds. Southern Utah claim three event championships at the meet including Madison and Megan McBride on vault, Kirsten Yee on bars, and Autumn Jorgensen in the all-around.  “Overall, I liked what I saw out of the girls. They are continuing to get better and better every meet and even though the scores from a tough judging panel didn’t really reflect it, they did a great job,” head coach Scotty Bauman said. “We still have some places that we can clean up. We’re still counting a low score on beam, but they’re continuing to get better. We still have room to grow and get better.”


Sophomores Madison and Megan McBride were named MRGC Co-Vault Specialists of the Week after scoring back-to-back 9.850’s on the event in the Flippin’ Birds’ win over Iowa last Friday.

“This whole season Megan has been drilling her vaults and I keep saying ‘I just want to stick a vault like Megan McBride’ so being able to do it together and get the same scores is a dream come true,” Madison McBride said.

The twins were the first two competitors on the event for the Thunderbirds and ended up winning the event championship at the end of the meet with their top scores.

Scouting Report: No. 11 Washington Huskies (7-5)

The Huskies come in Cedar City as the number 11 ranked team in the country with an RQS (Regional Qualifying Score) of 196.515. Washington is ranked in the top-10 on two events including being the ninth-ranked team on floor and the tenth-ranked team on beam. They scored their highest score of the season, a 197.025, two weeks ago against Arizona State.

The Huskies are coached by Elise Ray-Statz, who is in her second season at the helm of the program.

Scouting Report: No. 12 Denver Pioneers (12-3-1)

This will be the second meeting of the season between the Pioneers and the Flippin’ Birds. The two teams met back on February 16 in Provo at a tri-meet with BYU. Southern Utah was able to top the then ranked No. 10 Pioneers and finished in second place at the meet.

Since then Denver has only competed in one meet, finishing in a first place tie with No. 7 Michigan in a quad meet with the Wolverines, Utah State, and Bowling Green. The Pioneers scored their highest score of the season back on January 14 as they took down Air Force with a 196.800.

Saturday’s meet with the Huskies is set to start at 1 p.m. in the America First Event Center. This will be the Senior Day meet for the Flippin’ Birds as Karen Gonzalez, Amber Heltemes, and Kirsten Yee will all be recognized prior to the meet. A live stream will be available on Pluto TV Ch. 201 and live stats will be available at suutbirds.com.

Monday’s meet in Denver will kick off at 7 p.m. Mountain time in Hamilton Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Denver. The meet will be broadcasted on Altitude and a live stream and live stats will be available at denverpioneers.com.


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