BYU gymnastics places second in first home meet of season

Makenzie Halliday competes on the balance beam during the meet against Boise State and UC Davis. BYU placed second on the night with a score of 195.475.
Makenzie Halliday competes on the balance beam during the meet against Boise State and UC Davis. BYU placed second on the night with a score of 195.475. (Natalie Bothwell)

The Cougars earned their highest total score of the year with a 195.475 and took second place in their first home meet of the season against Boise State (196.425) and UC Davis (194.750) on Friday night in Provo.

Sophomore Jill Van Mierlo was injured on one of the last warmup rotations causing head coach Guard Young to scramble and put in alternates just minutes before the meet began.

“I was really happy to see how not only the alternates handled it, but the whole lineup and the team in general,” Young said. “We just didn’t miss a beat and went for what it was. That’s gonna happen and we plan for that.”

The first rotation featured BYU on vault, Boise State on the uneven bars and UC Davis on the balance beam. UC Davis had five gymnasts score a 9.675 or higher on the beam bringing their running score to 48.950. Boise State added two scores of 9.825, two scores of 9.850 and an overall high score of 9.875 giving them a running score of 49.225.

BYU started the night off strong on the vault. Mikaela Jones earned a score of 9.775 and Makenzie Halliday added a 9.800. Cheyenne Hill received a 9.725 and Sin To and Mackenzie Douglas contributed matching scores of 9.875 giving BYU their highest team vault score of the season at 49.050.

The Cougars entered the second rotation trailing Boise State and looking to make up ground on the uneven bars. Douglas, Halliday and Emily Vidmar each earned scores of 9.750. Those scores combines with Natasha Trejo’s 9.650 and Brittnie Wilde’s team high of 9.825 gave BYU its season-high score on the uneven bars at 48.725.

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Boise State earned five scores of 9.650 and higher on the balance beam. The Broncos remained in first place with a running score of 97.950. UC Davis was able to make up ground on the floor. Two scores of 9.750 along with a 9.775 and matching scores of 9.825 pushed the Aggies past the Cougars 97.875-97.775.

BYU found themselves in third place entering the third rotation. Boise State competed on floor with another impressive performance. Five scores of 9.800 and higher kept the Broncos in first place with a running score of 147.175. The Aggies added together scores of 9.675, 9.700, 9.800 and two scores of 9.725 on the vault to earn a team score of 48.625.

The Cougars looked to make up ground on the balance beam. Trejo earned a score of 9.750 and Taylor Harward added a 9.650. Jones and Vidmar contributed matching scores of 9.725 and Halliday earned a 9.875. For the third straight rotation BYU recorded its season-high score, this time on the balance beam with a 48.725. BYU broke even with UC Davis at the end of the third rotation, both teams with running scores of 146.500 and trailing Boise State by less than a point.

The final rotation featured BYU on the floor, Boise State on the vault and UC Davis on the uneven bars. Boise State received five scores of 9.800 and higher and the Broncos finished the night in first place with a total score of 196.425. The Cougars finished the fourth rotation with a floor score of 48.975, again earning their highest team score of the season. To earned a 9.750, Douglas a 9.775, Trejo a 9.800 and Vidmar and Halliday each received a 9.825. The Aggies total score of 194.750 wasn’t enough to pass the Cougars who took second place with a final score of 195.475.

The Cougars went up nearly two points from their last meet where they had a final score of 193.575. Young said he’s pleased with his team’s improvements.

“It’s nice to see the scores go up a little bit higher,” Young said. “I felt like we have been performing and now it feels like we’re finally starting to turn the corner a little bit.”

The Cougars travel to Idaho next week to compete again against Boise State on Jan. 29.

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