Senior gymnast Broekman leads Cougars past Southern Utah



    The BYU women’s gymnastics team continued its dominance over Southern Utah with a 196.05-192.75 win Thursday night at the Marriott Center.

    The victory was the Cougars’ second in less than two weeks over the Thunderbirds.

    BYU’s lone senior Natalie Broekman led the Cougars in what was the final home meet of her collegiate career. Broekman recorded team highs on the bars, floor and vault. Her third-place finish in individual all-around competition gave her Cougar of the Meet honors for the last time.

    Freshman Kelly Parkinson also closed out what was a stellar first home season as a Cougar, taking the all-around competition with a score of 39.425. Parkinson tied for team highs on both the vault and the beam.

    But the story of the meet was Broekman, as she bid an emotional farewell to a successful career at home. Broekman chalked up scores of 9.95 on both the floor and the bars, tying BYU records. Broekman also broke her personal career best on the vault with a team-best 9.85.

    “I feel like I went out on a good note,” Broekman, the team’s co-captain, said. “Everyone really pulled together. I don’t have any regrets.”

    Head gymnastics coach Brad Cattermole was pleased with Broekman’s performance after her final outing in front of a home crowd.

    “It was a great meet,” he said. “It’s always a team effort, but Natalie has been a real addition as both a team leader and a team captain. She’s focused on the team, and because of that she does as well as she does. She makes those around her better and that has helped us achieve beyond our wildest dreams this year.”

    With this victory behind them, the team now looks to Saturday, when it will travel to Salt Lake City to take on the University of Utah in its final meet of the regular season. Utah is ranked third in the nation and first in the region and dealt the Cougars a loss in the teams’ first meeting earlier this season.

    “If we can hit like we did tonight, we should do well,” Parkinson said. “We’ve been a lot more consistent.”

    Cattermole agreed consistency is the key.

    “We need to go up and do the same thing,” he said. “We need to hit all of our routines and try our best.”

    Broekman said she felt the win over Southern Utah will help BYU going into Saturday’s meet.

    “This is a total boost, especially for team confidence,” she said. “We’ll go into Utah with a lot of confidence and hopefully do even better than we did tonight.”

    The Cougars will take on the Utes on Saturday in Utah’s final home meet of the season before heading to regionals next month.

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