Feb. 4, 2016
DENVER - The University of Denver women's gymnastics team, ranked No. 13 in the nation, is set to host Utah State on Saturday in the team's annual Pink Night meet. The meet will start at 5 p.m.-one hour earlier than typical DU Gymnastics home meets.
Altitude TV will televise the meet live.
MEET #5: No. 13 Denver (5-0, 1-0 Big 12) vs. Utah State (3-1, 1-1 MRGC)
Date and Time: Saturday, February 6, at 5 p.m. MT
Location: Hamilton Gymnasium/2,500 (Denver, Colo.)
Live Stats: TV: Altitude TV
Meet Info: Denver meet notes | Utah State meet notes Facebook: /DenverGymnastics | /DenverPioneers
Twitter: @DU_Gymnastics | @DU_Pioneers
Instagram: @DU_Gymnastics | @DenverPioneers
Pioneers' head coach Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart is in her 18th season with DU. Under Kutcher-Rinehart, Denver has qualified to 17 consecutive NCAA Regionals and is seeking its fourth team trip to the NCAA National Championships.
Denver is up to No. 13 nationally in the latest Road to Nationals rankings, which were released Monday, February 1. The Pioneers are also ranked in the top 15 on three events.
Senior and two-time All-American Nina McGee (Cincinnati, Ohio) leads the Pioneers. McGee tied for second on floor at the 2015 NCAA National Championships and finished No. 11 overall in the all-around. After four meets in 2016, McGee already has a perfect 10.0 on floor and four all-around titles.
EARLY START TIME
Fans are reminded that Saturday's meet will start at 5 p.m., an hour early than most DU home meets. March-in will start at approximately 4:45 p.m. with competition underway at 5 p.m.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Vault: Sophomore Nikole Addison (Fort Myers, Fla.) is only behind McGee in average vault scoring for DU over the last two meets-scoring 9.800 and 9.825 in her only appearances this season. Freshman Diana Chesnok (Charlotte, N.C.) and junior Julia Ross (Henderson, Nev.) are consistently strong on vault for DU.
Bars: For the second time this season, McGee scored a 9.900 on bars to lead the Pioneers in their last meet. Chesnok posted a new personal best at Bowling Green with a 9.825 and continues to post high scores for DU, as does Ross with a 9.800 average in the last two meets.
Beam: McGee shared the event title in the team's last outing, scoring a 9.850. Ross had the meet's second highest score (9.825) and is the team's second-highest beam scorer in the last three meets. Chesnok competed on beam for the first time in her collegiate career and posted a 9.800 on January 30.
Floor: McGee, tied for No. 3 in the nation, leads the Pioneers with three scores of 9.925 or higher this season. Last weekend, three Pioneers set or tied career bests on the event: freshman Kaitlyn Schou (Orlanda, Fla.) with a 9.825; sophomore Claire Hammen (Loveland, Colo.) with a 9.850; and Addison with a 9.875.
PIONEERS' PINK NIGHT
Saturday's meet marks DU's annual Pink Night presented by Porter Adventist Hospital. Denver gymnasts will be wearing pink during warm-ups and competition, and fans are invited to wear pink as well in support of breast cancer research.
FOUR MEETS, FOUR ALL-AROUND TITLES
McGee continued her hot start to 2016 at the Pioneers' last meet, winning her fourth consecutive all-around title-one in each meet this season. In DU's last meet, her all-around tally of 39.525 was a new season high and only one tenth off her career best. Additionally, McGee won at least a share of all four event titles, a first for her career. Outright, she brought home titles on vault, bars and floor, and shared the beam title.
The four-meet win streak in the all-around is the best for a Pioneer since McGee won three straight titles twice in 2015.
EYE ON THE RANKINGS
In the latest Road to Nationals rankings, DU moved up one spot to No. 13 nationally. The Pioneers continue to be ranked inside the top 15 on three events and just outside the top 10 on two of them. Denver is No. 11 on vault (49.044), No. 11 on floor (49.075) and No. 15 on bars (49.019).
McGee improved her all-around ranking this week, moving up two spots to No. 6 in the nation with a 39.425 average. She is tied for No. 3 on floor (9.938), tied for No. 10 on bars (9.875) and tied for No. 16 on vault (9.869).
Rankings will be determined by season average through February 21. Beginning, February 22, teams will be ranked based on their Regional Qualifying Score (RQS).
LAST TIME OUT
DU closed out January with a season-high 196.125 to win in the team's first-ever trip to Bowling Green. The team posted its highest floor score this season (49.250), and its second-highest bars (49.025) and beam (48.975) scores. McGee took home at least a share of the title on all four individual events, as well as the all-around title.
Chesnok competed on beam for the first time in her collegiate career and posted a 9.800. She set a new career high on bars as well with a 9.825. Three more Pioneers set or matched their personal bests, each on floor: Addison (9.875), Hammen (9.850) and Schou (9.825).
ABOUT UTAH STATE
The Aggies are coming off back-to-back meets against conference opponent Southern Utah, splitting the match-ups and winning the last on January 29 with a final score of 195.425-195.250. Bailey McIntire won her second straight all-around title. Charly Belliston won the bars title while teammate Hayley Sanzotti shared the beam title and won the floor title.
In the national rankings, Utah State is not ranked inside the top 25 overall, though the Aggies are No. 19 on bars and No. 23 on beam.
Utah State is led by head coach Nadalie Walsh in her third season.
This will be the 46th meeting between Denver and Utah State. DU leads the all-time head-to-head record 28-17-0, including the team's last meeting at the 2015 MRGC Championship in Denver where DU posted a 196.075-195.125 win.
Both teams will meet for the second straight week at the Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City on February 12. DU and USU will be joined by Oklahoma and George Washington.
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