By Oscar Acevado:
San Jose State has its eyes on regionals and wouldn’t allow #22-ranked Utah State to stand in its way coming away with a 195.150-194.025 win.
Although they were trailing, a strong beam performance gave the Spartans an opportunity to take the meet.
“We don’t give anything up,” said senior Rachel Heinl. “No matter what happens, you’re next up — you have a job to do. It’s not over till it’s over.”
Even though SJSU did not have an all-around performer, freshman Taylor Chan played a large part in the win. The five-time MPSF Freshman of the Week tied season-highs in the vault and beam and also recorded a 9.925 on the floor setting — a team-high for the season.
It is the highest score any Spartans’ gymnast has earned all season and the first time they have reached over a 9.9 score on any event.
Although not ranked as high as the Aggies, San Jose State showed why it should not be underestimated by any team.
One word that came to Haleigh Shepard’s mind when it came to this season, was perseverance. “Just not giving up,” Shepard said. “The one thing about this team is that we just go and fight till the end.”
The numbers show that it’s not all talk, too.
Although the average total score for the Spartans is 194.055, in the last four meets, they have averaged 194.793. They are hitting their stride late in the season, just in time for regionals.
The upset came on senior night where Shepard, Stephanie Relova and Erica Matos were honored as this meet was their last meet at the SJSU Event Center.
The last event for these seniors at home proved to be an emotional one, but they did not lose focus.
“We have to limit it because we’re never done. We’re not done yet,” Shepard said. “It was hard and really emotional but we pulled through — all of us.”
The Spartans will be traveling to Arkansas for their last regular season meet on March 10 and will host the MPSF Championship on March 18.