Clark, the Utah State freshman phenom from Daphne, Alabama, won his sixth floor title of the season with a career-best 9.950 to help the Aggies record a season-high 49.500 on the event, which is tied for second all-time in school history.
Unfortunately for Utah State’s No. 21, he couldn’t overcome issues on vault and balance beam as No. 24 Boise State beat the Aggies 196.950-195.800 in a double meet of the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Friday night at ExtraMile Arena.
“Once we find a rhythm and find what works, and we all stay on the same page for all four events, once we figure that out, we’ll be ready,” said Clark, whose 9.950 rushing is tied for third all-time in school history. “It’s just about figuring that out, and I feel like we’re slowly but surely moving forward, getting through it and figuring it out.”
Clark is now tied for sixth with his six floor titles in one season.
Rebecca Wells won the all-around for the fourth time this season with a 38.500. The junior also tied for second on vault with 9.850 and seventh on bars with a career-high 9.825.
Opening the match on bars, the Aggies (7-5, 3-3 MRGC) recorded a season-high 49.200. Brianna Brooks paced Utah State at the event as the runner-up placed second with a career-best 9.900. Junior Jessica Gutierrez matched his career high with a 9.825 to tie for seventh place, joining Wells, junior Maia Fishwick and freshman Molly Arnoldof which 9.825 turned out to be a personal best.
“We finally showed up and settled in for the first event like we’re supposed to,” Utah State’s fifth-year head coach said. Amy Smith. “It’s our best score of the season on bars. Some very good things happened there, and obviously, it escaped us a bit on vault.”
One of the big things that happened in bars for the Aggies was the return of Grace Rojas, who had yet to compete this season due to injury. The eldest recorded a 9.850 in an exhibition performance on the event.
“Getting Grace back into the bars took a while,” Smith said. “We hope to put it back in the bar mix”
Utah State recorded a 48.650 on vault, with Wells the only Aggie to score above a 9.800.
The Aggies were dialed in on the ground in the third rotation. Prior to Clark’s 9.950, fellow freshman Trinity Brown notched a career-high 9.925, good enough for a second-place tie. Second year Eve Jackson also hit a personal best with a 9.900 to tie for fourth place, while Arnold started the party with a 9.875.
“We finally got to the same page and made it click,” Clark said. “It was the best floor performance of the season so far, and I feel like we can go up from there too. I’m chasing that 10, so it’s kind of like a race. I’m trying to get the 10 so I’m going to keep working for that My goal for this competition was to beat 9.925 or around that range.
Wells rounded out the Aggies’ five scores on the floor with a 9.850, helping Utah State score a 49.500 on the event for the first time since doing so against Ohio State. on February 28, 2003.
“We fought from the jump and had one of the most phenomenal floor spins I’ve ever had during my time at Utah State, so that was really cool,” Smith said. “Then we decided to throw it all in again. The good thing is that we’re showing that we have the parts – really good parts. We just have to figure out how to put it all together, so as such, that’s a good thing. It’s going to be up to the girls to figure out how to do their best when the best is needed, and that’s four rotations, one through six. I really believe we’re there. We just have to execute this.”
The Aggies, ranked 12th in the nation on beam heading into Friday’s competition, had one fall and finished with a 48.450 on apparatus. Brooks, Clark, junior Sofi Sullivan and freshman Kyelyn McCright all tied for third place with a matching 9.825s.
Boise State improved to 2-2 overall and 2-2 in the MRGC with the win.
The Aggies return to the friendly confines of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum for a double-meeting weekend beginning Friday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. when they host both BYU and Towson. Utah State next hosts Towson on Sunday, Feb. 27 at 3 p.m. in a non-conference double meet.
“We’re definitely going to hit the gym this week and figure it out,” Clark said. “We’re so close, and I know this team has so much to give. I can’t wait for the world to see it. It’s so close.”
For more information on Utah State’s gymnastics program, follow the Aggies on Twitter at @USUGymnastics, on Facebook at UtahStateGymnastics and on Instagram at USUGymnastics.
No. 21 Utah State at No. 24 Boise State – Boise, Idaho – ExtraMile Arena – February 18, 2022
Results by team: 1. Boise State – 196.950 (vault: 49.100, bars: 49.450, beam: 49.200, floor: 49.200); 2. Utah State –195.800 (vault: 48.650, bars: 49.200, beam: 48.450, floor: 49.500).
To jump: 1. Alyssa Vulaj – BSU, 9,900; 2. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9,850; 3. Samantha Smith – BSU, 9.825 T6. Trinity Brown – USU, 9.775; T6. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.775; ten. Brie Clark – USU, 9.725; 11. Eve Jackson – USU, 9.525; 12. Molly Arnold – 9,500.
Bars: 1. Alexis Stokes-BSU, 9.975; 2. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9,900; T3. Talia Little-BSU, 9.875; T3. Courtney Blackson-BSU, 9.875; T3. Emily Lopez-BSU, 9.875; T7. Jessica Gutierrez – USU, 9.825; T7. Rebecca Wells– USU, 9.825; T7. Molly Arnold – USU, 9.825; T7. Maia Fishwick – USU, 9.825; 11. Eve Jackson – USU, 9.775.
Beam: 1. Adriana Popp-BSU, 9,900; 2. Emily Lopez-BSU, 9.875; T3. Talia Little-BSU, 9.825; T3. Kyelyn McCright – USU, 9.825; T3. Brianna Brooks – USU, 9.825; T3. Sofi Sullivan – USU, 9.825; T3. Brie Clark – USU, 9.825; 11. Carley Bayles – USU, 9.150; 12. Rebecca Wells – USU, 8.975.
Ground: 1. Brie Clark – USU, 9.950; T2. Trinity Brown – USU, 9.925; T2. Courtney Blackson-BSU, 9.925; T4. Eve Jackson – USU, 9,900; 7. Molly Arnold, 9.875; 8. Rebecca Wells – USU, 9,850; 9. Jessica Gutierrez – USU, 9,800.
All around: 1. Rebecca Wells – USU, 38,500.