|Paper||Southern Utah University Student Newspapers|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Southern Utah University Student Newspapers|
.. !MONDAY, APRIL 3, 2000 PAGE 13 UNIVERSITY JOURNAL SPORTS Gymnasts struggle at regionals BY JASEN ASAY JOURNAL SPORTS EDITOR The SUU gymnasts competed as a team for the first time in an NCAA post-season meet Saturday night at the regional meet in Minneapolis, Minn., and finished sixth out of six teams with a 191 .800. Utah (196.325) and West Virginia (195.475) finished as the top two teams and will advance to the national meet. "I think the pressure of the meet may have gotten to the team,· said SUU Head Coach Scott Bauman. "But the girts did a great job representing SUU ." The Thunderbirds started off really well on the uneven bars, scoring a 48.525. Junior Heather Slack and sophomore Erica Burk both scored a 9.825 to lead the 'Birds. According to Bauman, both junior Suzi Clark and freshman Megan Maiser were underscored with their marks of 9.425 and 9.40, .. ~ f respectively. - - ' . Next came the beam , which has been the team's nemesis 1 the whole season, and this meet was no exception. SUU's ~ first three athletes, freshman Rachel Bridges. Burk and Q Maiser fell off the beam. But the last three, Clark (9,75) , Slack (9.725) and freshman Cayce Overstreet (9.675) stepped up :j and hit their routines. ~ Freshman Sarah Geisler sprained her ankle bad during the floor exercise, and barley finished her routine. Overstreet led L....-:.......:.......:::.;;;;..-=.~=-=:.......~-=---'--.z:_;;;_;__ _---'~ the 'Birds on the floor with a 9.70 and freshman Jayme Morgan finished with a 9.675. With leaders like Suzi Clark, the Thunderbird Maiser and Morgan scored high for the 'Birds on the vault gymnasts will look for a return trip to with 9.675 and 9.625, respectively. Geisler was forced to sit regionals next season. I~ § i out from the vault due to her injury, forcing the 'Birds to compete with only five gymnasts in that event. That meant that SUU was not able to drop the lowest score like the other teams with six gymnasts in the event could. In the all-around, Overstreet finished 11th with a 38.575 and Clark scored a 38.225 putting her at 13th in the meet. Overall, Bauman said that he is pleased with his team's effort. He noted that Slack and Clark had an outstanding meet and Burk was incredible on the bars. "They're not huge as in showy, but they are extremely consistent," said Bauman. Bauman said that the team can look to this meet as a learning experience. Even though, he said, the team still has a lot to learn, the gymnasts need to take it one step at a time. The 'Birds came into the meet hungry, and expecting more than they came out with. Bauman said the team will be able to feed off the meet and grow from it. "It will get them mad, and prepare them for next year," said Bauman. Even though the 'Birds might be disappointed, they have nothing to hang their heads about. They had a great season, and the future looks bright for the team that had more freshmen on the floor during the meet than any other team. While many schools will be losing their top scorers, SUU will not have to face this problem. Every SUU gymnast will be · back next year and will have the experience of competing in a regional championship under their belt. "The great thing is that we won't lose anybody for next year," said Bauman. "This team will back here next year, I guarantee it.· Thunderbirds Sluggers go 3-1 at. Val·p araiso 'cowboy up' (contined from page 1) breakaway were just a few of the events held this weekend. Prizes included cash for placings, headstalls for first place in timed events and gear bags for rough stock riding. "The rodeo ran quickly and we had lots of competitors that helped give the clubs recognition and a more competitive spirit,· said Jason · Mackelprang, a criminal justice major from Fredonia, Ariz. Mackenprang competed in calf and team· roping. SUU competed in most of the events but Reeve said the team needs new members for rough stock competition (bull riding, bareback, saddle broncs). Rodeo participation is based on three events. Each participant competes in one of the first two events. The top 10 of each event come back for the final performance, called the short go. The top four of the short go receive points toward nationals and the top two in each event at the end of the season in each region compete at the nationals. Each of the 11 regions in the nation hold 1O rodeos a season. SUU's team has 13 members this season. The women's team is currently in sixth place and the men's team is in eighth. "Next year we hope to have our arena built in Cedar so that the rodeo will be more accessible to SUU students," Reeve said. The SUU Rodeo team began in 1962 and was an annual qualifier at nationals during the 1980s. In the early '90s, the administration at SUU changed and began to focus on NCAA sports, which the team is not recognized as because of the cash prizes. "We are considered pro athletes by the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) because of the prize money but we're not recognized by the NCAA for the same reason," Olds said. In two weeks the team will travel to Ricks College and finish the season with rodeos at Weber State University and Great Basic Community College in Elko, Nev. From there the top qualifiers will go on to nationals. Southern Utah's baseball team closed out its first-ever Mid-Continent Conference baseball series by going 3-1 at Valparaiso over the weekend. Junior Curtis Jacobsen combined to go seven-of-nine from the plate, with three home runs and 13 RBI to help lead the Thunderbirds to a sweep of the double header 16-0 and 9-4, Friday afternoon. In the opener, Jacobsen and lefthander Zach Barnard combined to dominate the Crusaders. Jacobsen hit all three of his homers in the first game, a three-run shot in the second, followed by a grand slam in the third and another three-run blast in the sixth. Jacobsen finished game one four-of-five with 10 RBI. Juniors Todd Mitchell and Travis Hatch also had two hits. with Mitchell driving in three runs and senior Amos Bright connected for his eighth homer of the season. Barnard had his best outing thus far, earning his seventh victory (7-1) in eight starts by hurting a three-hit, seven-inning complete game shutout with nine strikeouts. In the nightcap, SUU struck first in the second inning thanks to a pair of RBI doubles by Mitchell and Hatch to lead 3-0. After a Valpo run in the third, the 'Birds exploded for five runs in the fourth inning, !hanks to RBI base hits by Mitchell and Jacobsen, an error and a wild pitch. Sophomore righthander James Anderson earned his first victory of the season (1-2), allowing three earned runs on seven hits, with four strikeouts in a seven inning complete game performance. "I am very pleased with the way we came out and hit the ball,· Head Coach Kurt Palmer said. "We did all the things we needed to do to win. Zach [Barnard] and James (Anderson] threw two outstanding games for us and what can you say about Curtis [Jacobsen), he had a great day." In the following day's double header, Valpo took the opener, 4-1 , while SUU rallied from a 7-2 deficitlo take• the series finale, 14-9. · In the nightcap, Valpo jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead through two innings, chasing 'Bird starter John Goring in the second frame. SUU broke through in the scoring column in the third, thanks to a two-run double by Hatch, to cut the lead to 6-2. After Valpo added a run in the bottom of the third, the 'Bird bats came back to life, scoring 12 runs in the next three innings to take the lead, 14-7. Steven Stoker closed out the Crusaders in the seventh to give SUU the series-clinching win. Softballers win one, drop three By JERAD CIARUS JOURNAL STAFF WRITER The will and dedication to win are there for the softball team but there is just something missing that baffles Head Coach Laurel Simmons after the 'Birds dropped three games, to Mid-Con foe UMKC, after_getting their first conference win on Friday by defeating the 'Roos 6-4. Game one of Friday's doubleheader ended with Lori Shephard notching her third win of the season. The game ended with the 'Birds getting eight hits and no errors while only leaving four on base. Kolbi Clothier led the team with two runs scored and one driven in. Game two on Friday ended in a 2-1 disappointing loss to the 'Roos, as SUU went up 1-0 early but could not hold it as UMKC scored both runs after the fifth inning. The 'Birds compiled seven hits and one error but could not score more than one run, leaving eight runners on base. Renee Hietbrink took the loss for the 'Birds as the team record fell to 4-25 overall and 1-1 in the Mid-Con. Saturday also saw SUU as host to another softball doubleheader as UMKC came out with wins in both games. Game one ended 12-4 as the 'Birds could not come back from an earty 7-1 deficit after four innings. Emily Cederholm and Erin O'Donnell led the team with two RBI a piece and Hietbrink pitched a complete game that ended with a loss. Game two was a slugfest again ending in favor of UMKC, this time by a score of 11-10. After SUU got down 4-1 they fought ba~k to tie it in the second inning before falling by one. Kelly Grundy hit a grandslam in the second that gave the 'Birds a one-run lead. Although 16 hits and 10 runs would normally win a game, three errors and eight runers left on base hurt the SU softball team. Shephard received the loss for her efforts. "We were disappointed to get only one win, but we proved we can play with the best team in the conference," said Simmons. "We are producing better, but we need to cut down on errors and make big plays.· SUU finished the weekend at 4-27 overall and 1-3 in conference play. The team will travel to Logan to play Utah State in a double header on Tuesday at 2 p.m.