BYU womens’ gymnastics: A season in review

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The BYU womens’ gymnastics teams will finish up their season in the coming weeks at the Tuscaloosa Regional Competition on April 6. The Cougars have seen their share of highs and lows throughout the season. Despite challenges, they have overcome adversities to score their highest team score since 2008.

Recovering from injury has been a main theme of the BYU gymnastics team this season. Haylee Rollins and Megan Bain returned from injuries in the 2012 season, barely ready to compete. Rollins steadily progressed to score a career-high on bars in the last meet against University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University.

“I was surprised how quickly I came back,” Rollins said. “We thought it would be about four months, but that was not going to work for me. As soon as I could I started training bars again.”

Bain also scored a new personal-best on floor with a prestigious score of 9.900. She also tied her personal-best on beam in the first meet.

“I was the worst on the team on bars,” Bain said. “They had me stop working bars because I was so bad. The thing I’m most proud of now is I’m on bar team and it’s been my most consistent event all year.”

Both of these athletes have worked hard enough to compete in the all-around competition multiple times this season.

Junior KayCee Gassaway was not so lucky. Gassaway was forced to red shirt this season after suffering an ankle injury. Gassaway has been a strong asset to the Cougars, particularly on vault and bars. Freshman Madeline Nilsson also suffered a season-ending injury during the Texas Quad Meet. Nilsson is one of the team’s best vaulters, leaving a gaping whole in the line-up.

Many freshmen stepped up to contribute on all events. Eliane Kulczyk opened the season scoring consistently on floor and vault and quickly became a strong competitor for the Cougars. Makenzie Johnson competed on three events in the start of the season and now competes in the all-around competition with junior Raquel Willman. Her steady increase in scoring has left her with a career-high of 9.875 on vault and 9.850 on beam. Mikaela Jones has begun to compete on vault, scoring her career high of 9.800 in the last meet. Summer Raymond and Emily Vidmar both compete on beam, with career highs of 9.825 this season.

The team will only lose two seniors, Kaitlin Hoffman and Sarah Yandow Wensel, after this season. Wensel competes on bars, floor and vault. Her consistent scoring will be a loss to BYU, but there are many capable gymnasts training underneath coach Brad Cattermole. Hoffman has competed on beam during her first and only season competing for BYU.

The Cougars will compete in the 2013 NCAA National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships on April 6.

BYU will compete at 6 p.m. PST.

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