BYU gymnastics ends regular season on a high note

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Ari Davis
Makenzie Johnson competes on the beam in the final home meet on March 6. Johnson earned a career-high 39.450 to win first place against the USU Aggies. (Ari Davis)

Makenzie Johnson led the BYU gymnastics team to a narrow first-place victory against the Utah State University Aggies (196.375-196.350). The Cougars earned the season-high score Friday night during the last competition of the regular season.

Johnson’s career-high score of 39.450 helped her win the all-around competition for the second week in a row.

“It was a fun meet,” BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said. “That will push us into the conference championship with some confidence.”

The Cougars’ consistency as a whole team led to the season record-setting victory, as they never counted a score lower than 9.700 throughout the meet.

Jill Van Mierlo led the pack with her 9.850 on the uneven bars, the first event of the night. Johnson added a 9.800, while KayCee Gassaway contributed 9.775. Brittni Wilde scored 9.775 as well in her second career appearance for the Cougars. Emily Vidmar rounded out the event with 9.750 to achieve the team’s total 48.950, a full 0.150 points above the Aggies’ score on bars.

Two individual career highs helped the Cougars tie their season-high score on vault, but they still scored 0.050 less than Utah State in the event. Johnson’s 9.925 marked a career high and led the meet. Mikaela Johnson earned 9.875 for the other career high. Gassaway also added 9.875 for a season-high score of her own. Jordan Schult and Van Mierlo finished with 9.775 and 9.725 respectively for a team score of 49.175.

The Aggies again outperformed BYU by 0.050 points on the floor exercise, despite the Cougars’ solid showing. Johnson led the team again as she tied her season-high score of 9.900. Gassaway then tied her career-high 9.875. Van Mierlo and Vidmar added 9.825 each, and Schult’s 9.800 gave the Cougars a 49.225-point total.

BYU tallied a season-high score of 49.025 on the balance beam exactly one week after marking its season low in the event.

“I think we just got tired of making silly mistakes, and we decided to go and play,” Cattermole said. “When we do that, we’re good.”

Schult led the Cougars on this final event with her career-high 9.875. Vidmar followed close behind, tying her own career high of 9.850. Johnson and Van Mierlo added 9.825 and 9.775 respectively. Taylor Harward’s 9.700 finished the night and allowed BYU to finish 0.025 points above Utah State.

The Cougars’ success marked the third time they’ve won first place this season. BYU will next compete for the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championships on March 21 in Denver.

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