Friday, March 4, 2011

The Top Gymnastics Scores This Weekend

The teams that have the best shot at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships are peaking right now, rolling up scores of 196, 197 and above.  Here are the top scores this week:

1.  Alabama--197.075
1.  Penn State--197.075
3.  Oklahoma--197.050
4.  Florida--197.000
5.  Utah--196.750
6.  Ohio State--196.525
7.  Michigan--196.325
8.  Arkansas--196.000
9.  Boise State 195.925
10.  Minnesota 195.325

The #2, #6, #7, #8, #10, #15 and #17 teams will be competing either tomorrow or Sunday.  With Boise State's relatively low score, you might think a couple teams will pass them.  But with the nature of the RQS, anything can happen from week to week.

Bronco Gymnasts Top Southern Utah on Senior Night

Boise State didn't top 196 tonight but they came as close as you can get.  The Broncos downed Southern Utah 195-925 to 194-650 on Senior Night in Taco Bell Arena.

Mallory Dziawura, Kelsey Lang, Hannah Redmon, Sarah Smith and Katie Tuller were saluted prior to the meet to acknowledge their outstanding contributions over the last four years.

Amy Glass once again paced the Lady Broncos with a brilliant evening.  Glass won the all-around with a 39.50 and topped three of the four apparatuses.  She was the top performer on the floor (9.875), beam (9.90) and bars (9.925).  Glass not only tied Julie Wagner for the school record of seven all-around wins in a season but put up the seventh-best all-around performance in school history.  Amy is also all alone in second place with 13 career all-around wins.  Glass's bar score also tied the seventh-best performance by a Bronco .  Hailey Gaspar scored a 9.850 on floor and won the vault with a mark of 9.875.  Redmon tied with Glass for tops on the bars with a 9.925 and backed up Gaspar on vault with a 9.85.  Those were the only Bronco scores above 9.85.

From here, Boise State has just one more meet to prepare for the Western Athletic Conference Championships. The Broncos will take on Sacramento State and UC-Davis next Sunday.  The following week, Boise State will take on the best in the WAC and then it's on to the Regionals where Boise State knows they'll need to score a 197 to have a chance to advance to Nationals.

Boise State Research Team One of 14 Chosen by NASA

A collaboration involving the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering has resulted in Boise State being selected into NASA's Microgravity University 2011.  The Boise State team is one of 14 groups selected.

The Boise State students will study the issue of bone density loss suffered by astronauts who are in an extended period of weightlessness.  The team will collect information on and monitor the body's response to the environmental stress of microgravity given the fluctuation of calcium molecules in bone cells.  The Bronco students will propose, design, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment that is based on NASA's mission.

Boise State will be joined by peers from Yale, California Institute of Technology, Cal Poly, George Washington, Utah State, the University of Washington, Florida, West Virginia, Lehigh, Oklahoma State, Dartmouth, Purdue and the University of New York at Buffalo.  The schools will present and conduct their experiments June 2-11 during Flight Week at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.

The prestigious invitation is the culmination of two years of work by team leader and senior Jake Forsberg (computer science), 2010 graduate Ben Davis (biology) and faculty advisers Robert Hay (electrical and computer engineering), Julie Oxford (biology) and Sondra Miller (civil engineering).  Additional members include sophomore David Connolly (mechanical engineering), senior Travis Dean (mechanical engineering), junior Stephanie Frahs (chemistry), sophomore Dawn Mikelonis (biology), graduate student Alex Miller (materials science and engineering), senior Ron Pierce (electrical engineering) and graduate student Ellen Rabenberg (materials science and engineering).  Former NASA astronaut Barbara Morgan, now Boise State's distinguished educator in residence, is assisting the team.

"Our 2011 Microgravity University team is looking at some basic biological questions in a new way, and a lot will be learned from their exploration," Morgan said.  "Major advances in technology happen at the intersection of disciplines," said Hay.  "This kind of collaboration forces us to look at things from a different perspective."

Zell No-Hitter Highlights Boise State Sweep

Aubrea Zell pitched the first no-hitter in Boise State history with a 12-0 masterpiece over Southern Utah. Zell struck out eight and threw just 51 pitches in leading the Broncos to a doubleheader sweep of the Thunderbirds. Vanessa Alvarez belted a three-run blast in support of Zell's gem.

"It was great for Aubray to accomplish what we know she's capable of," said head coach Erin Thorpe. "She maintained control throughout the game. That's the goal we have for every pitcher on our staff- be in control of the zone."

The Roadrunners had several chances to break up the no-hitter.  In the fourth inning, a shot was hit to the left side of the inning that could have gotten through.  But Lela Work dove to snare it, got up and threw to first for the out.  Later that inning, with two out, Southern Utah's Haylee Hoch sent a deep ball to center.  Ashley Collier ran back toward the fence and made the catch with her back to home plate.

Tazz Weatherly had a home run, a single and a double for the Broncos and relief pitcher Lela Work pitched two innings of perfect baseball to win the opener 7-3.

The Broncos host Seattle University tomorrow at noon at Mountain Cove Field and will meet the Thunderbirds at 2.