Falls prove costly as BYU gymnastics takes second place

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Makenzie Halliday performs on the uneven bars in the meet against Boise State and UC Davis. Halliday placed first in the All-Around competition on Friday night against SUU and Sacramento State. (Natalie Bothwell)

Several falls on the balance beam cost the Cougars first place in the tri-meet against Southern Utah University and Sacramento State in Cedar City, Utah on Friday night. The Cougars took second place with a score of 194.400, while the Thunderbirds took first with 195.975 and the Hornets placed third with 193.300.

“Southern Utah is a very good team and they performed great at home,” said head coach Guard Young. “We started the meet off on fire, we just couldn’t keep it going through beam.”

BYU competed on the uneven bars in the first rotation. Eliane Kulczyk led the Cougars with a personal season-high score of 9.825. Mackenzie Douglas and Brittni Wilde added matching scores of 9.750. Emily Vidmar tied her season-high score with a 9.775 and Halliday notched a personal season-high on the bars with a score of 9.775. The team sat in first place with a running score of 48.875 after the first rotation.

The Cougars stumbled on the balance beam during the second rotation. Natasha Trejo scored an 8.975, Taylor Harward received a 9.625 and Sin To earned a 9.500. Despite the team’s struggles, Vidmar and Halliday finished strong on the beam for BYU, scoring 9.850 and 9.750, respectively. Vidmar took first place on the beam, but it wasn’t enough for the Cougars to remain in first place. With a beam score of 47.700, BYU fell behind SUU with a running score of 96.575.

BYU looked to make up ground on the floor. To and Halliday both tied their season-high scores on floor, To earning a 9.750 and Halliday a 9.850. Those scores combined with Trejo’s 9.525, Vidmar’s 9.775 and Douglas’ 9.800 gave the team a floor score of 48.700. The Cougars trailed the Thunderbirds 146.725-145.275 heading into the final rotation.

BYU competed on the vault in the final rotation looking to edge out SUU. Mikaela Jones, To and and Douglas earned matching scores of 9.750. Jessie Westergard earned a season-high score of 9.675 while Halliday tied her season-high with a score of 9.800. The Cougars vault score was 48.725, but it wasn’t enough to pass SUU and BYU finished the night in second place with a score of 194.000 compared to the Hornet’s 193.300 and the Thunderbird’s 195.975.

Despite the second-place finish, Makenzie Halliday’s personal score of 39.175 earned her first place in the All-Around competition.

The Cougars return to the Smith Fieldhouse for their second home meet of the season to compete against in-state rival Utah State on Feb. 19.

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