Just five days after its season opener, the Sacramento State gymnastics team will remain at home for a three-team meet on Friday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. The Hornets will welcome back Stanford for the second straight contest and host Seattle Pacific in the second of four home meets this season.
Friday's meet will feature a couple of promotions as it will be Kids Night as well as Parents Night. Prior to the meet, members of the Sacramento State team will be accompanied by their parents during the march-in. Following the contest, Hornet gymnasts will be signing autographs on posters for all kids in attendance.
Sacramento State will open the meet on vault and will continue with Olympic order. Seattle Pacific will start on bars while Stanford will be on beam during the first rotation.
Live scoring as well as a free live video stream will be available through the Sacramento State web site (hornetsports.com). Links can be found on the schedule page.
Stanford was tabbed 21st in the preseason poll. The Cardinal started the year by winning the NorCal Classic with a score of 195.175. That mark was the 12th-highest in the nation during the opening weekend. Kyla Bryant at least tied for first place in all four individual events and easily won the all-around. The sophomore scored 9.825 on vault, 9.850 on bars and 9.900 on floor and beam. Her total of 39.475 in the all-around is the ninth best in the country this year.
Tabitha Yim is in her second season as the Stanford head coach. Yim, competed for the Cardinal and was a 14-time All-American. After working as an assistant coach with Stanford, she was the head coach at Arizona for two seasons. The Hornets earned their first victory over the Cardinal in 2017 and now trail the all-time series, 1-17-1.
Seattle Pacific will make its 2019 debut this week. The Falcons averaged 191.255 last season but peaked towards the end of the year. SPU scored at least 192.625 in its final four meets, including scoring 194.300 at the MPSP Championships. The team returns a trio of all-arounders in Darian Burns, Itzia San Roman and McKenna Zimmermann. Burns scored 39-plus in a pair of competitions last season and averaged 38.365.
Laurel Tindall is starting her 43rd season as the head coach at Seattle Pacific. Tindall was a two-time national champion on vault as a student-athlete and took the reins of the SPU program immediately after graduation. The Falcons won the NCAA Div. II team title in 1986 and have claimed a pair of USAG crowns.
THE LATEST ACTION
Sacramento State's season got off to a slow start as the team counted falls in three of the four rotations and finished with a total of 190.000. The Hornets scored 47.900 on vault and were led by a 9.700 from Jordyn Brent. On bars, Sacramento State had falls in four routines and finished with a 45.750. Brent again had the high score at 9.600. Beam was the highwater mark for the team with a total of 48.850. The Hornets counted five scores of at least 9.725 and were paced by Lauren Schmeiss and Brent who scored 9.800. The team wrapped up the meet on floor with a 47.500, including a 9.775 from Brent.
Stanford captured the team title with a total of 195.175. The Cardinal were closely followed by UC Davis which scored 194.950. San Jose State was third at 193.300.
BRENT BRINGS HER BEST
Sophomore Jordyn Brent had never competed in an official all-around at the collegiate level. Brent was a regular in three events last season and performed a handful of exhibitions on beam during the year. That all changed at the NorCal Classic where she scored 38.875 to place third in the all-around.
Brent led the team on vault, bars and floor and tied for the top score on beam. She set career highs on both beam (9.800) and floor (9.775) during the process. Her all-around mark ranks sixth in school history in season-opening meets while her beam score is tied for the third best to start a season.
BEAM BALANCES THE TEAM AT NORCAL CLASSIC
The pressure was on the Sacramento State beam lineup and the team responded with a score of 48.850 at the NorCal Classic — easily its highest in the four events. Just moments after enduring four falls on bars, all six members of the team stayed on the beam and the team counted five scores of 9.725 or better. Returners Kendra Braida and Lauren Schmeiss started the team with scores of 9.725 and 9.800. Amber Koeth made her collegiate debut with a 9.775 and Brent followed with a 9.800. Freshman Shaye Mathias completed the team score with a 9.750 in the anchor position.
In all, the final four performers for the Hornets were making their first appearances in the beam lineup at the college level. The team's score was the second best in a season opener in program history. The mark only trails the 49.050 scored at the NorCal Classic in 2014.
COMINGS AND GOINGS
The short-handed Hornets could receive a boost this week with the return of Tara Catour to the lineup. The junior missed the season opener due to an injury but might be cleared in time to participate on Friday. Catour would provide some veteran experience on vault, beam and floor.
Freshman Shaye Mathias could also see her role expand this week. Mathias debuted on beam where she scored 9.750 at the NorCal Classic. She will likely add bars to her resumé this week after being held out of the event for precautionary reasons while she returned from an injury.
The news was not all good for the team, however, as freshman Wanda Deriot will likely miss significant time. Deriot was injured on the first vault of the year for the team and had to be assisted off the floor with a foot injury.
THIS & THAT
Twelve of the team's 24 routines at the NorCal Classic were performed by gymnasts who were making their first appearnce in the event at Sacramento State…seniors Lauren Schmeiss and Carly Pratt and junior Tara Catour will serve as team captains in 2019…six members of last season's team as well as the team itself were recognized by the Women's Collegiate Gymnastics Association for their academic achievements during the 2017-18 year…the NCAA will switch its postseason format this season moving from six six-team regionals to four nine-team sites…the format will involve multiple days of competition as the eigth seed will take on the nine in the opening round. The second day will see two four-team meets with the top two advancing to a four-team meet on the third day.