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Flying in the nation

The University of Michigan Wolverines and the Southern Utah University Flippin’ Birds will meet again this Sunday in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is the seventh time U-M and SUU have met. U-M has won five of the six previous meets, but SUU won last year’s. The meet will take place Sunday Feb. 26 at 1 p.m. ET (11 a.m. MST).

Currently, University of Michigan is ranked No. 9 in the first Regional Qualifying Score rankings of the season, and SUU is ranked at No. 13.

U-M’s last meet resulted in scoring their season high of 197.225. They won all four events and the all-around. Sophomore Emma McLean was named a Big Ten Event Specialist of the Week after winning two events. On vault, she threw a particularly hard pass, a Yurchenko 1/2, for the first time and stuck it, receiving her career-high of 9.975. She also received a 9.925 on floor.

The Flippin’ Birds have had a successful season as well, breaking the school all-around record twice so far this season.

Other season successes include beating BYU last week and receiving a record-high on floor with a 49.550, along with many other personal and event records broken.

Talking about the last meet against BYU, SUU Head Coach Scott Bauman said he was extremely happy with the results, specifically on the beam. “I wanted the girls to leave this meet on a really good note,” he said. “Our floor team is amazing. Jamie (Wysong) with the choreography, Jeff (Richards) does a great job with the tumbling and the adjustments in the lineups, and Adam (AhQuin) does amazing with just overseeing floor with Jeff (Richards). But at the same time, you’ve got to tip your hat to BYU; that’s tough to go to beam and hit your routines when our floor team is going out there and doing that.”

The Flippin’ Birds’ major successes came from senior Madyson Blake-Howard with a personal best on floor; redshirt senior Stacie Webb, who tied her personal best on floor; and freshman Autumn Jorgensen, who tied the school record once again on floor.

Wolverine names to look out for at Sunday’s meet are junior Paige Zaziski, who scored big on bars at last week’s meet with a 9.950 and senior Talia Chiarelli who won beam with a 9.925. Freshman Lexi Funk was the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after scoring a 9.825 or better on all three of her events.

The Wolverines’ 2017 average all-around score is 196.3375 while the Flippin’ Birds’ average is 195.754.

To watch the meet live, visit suutbirds.com. For more Flippin’ Birds info follow @suugymnastics on Twitter and Instagram and like the SUU Gymnastics page on Facebook.

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