BYU gymnastics falls short against SUU

Ari Davis
Jill Van Mierlo competes on the uneven bars in the meet against Utah State. (Ari Davis)

The BYU women’s gymnastics team lost a tight competition to Southern Utah University 196.000-195.750 in their final home meet of the season on Saturday afternoon.

The Cougars started the meet on vault. Five scores of 9.750 or higher, including Makenzie Halliday’s season high of 9.875, led BYU to a running score of 48.950. BYU took a narrow lead of less than half of a point into the second rotation.

BYU competed on the uneven bars in the second rotation and scored their highest bar score of the season. Halliday, Emily Vidmar, Jill Van Mierlo all set season-highs with scores of 9.850, 9.775 and 9.875 respectively. Eliane Kulczyk tied her season-high with a 9.850 while Brittni Wilde set a career-high score with a 9.900. The team received a bar score of 49.300, the best BYU team bar score since 2004. The team increased their lead over the Thunderbirds 98.250-97.975.

The Cougars stumbled on the balance beam in the third rotation. Despite Van Mierlo’s season-high score of 9.750 and strong scores from Natasha Trejo, Vidmar and Halliday, two falls proved costly as BYU received a beam score of 48.300, allowing the Thunderbirds to take the lead. BYU trailed SUU 146.925-146.550 with only one rotation left to go.

The final rotation featured BYU on the floor as they looked to regain enough momentum to win the meet. Sin To, Trejo and Halliday all set season-highs with scores of 9.800, 9.825 and 9.900 respectively. Vidmar set a career-high with a score of 9.900. The Cougars received their highest floor score of the season with a 49.200, but it wasn’t enough to pass the Thunderbirds as they lost 196.00-195.750.

“We started off strong and we ended strong,” said head coach Guard Young. “But you have a fall on one skill, twice, and that takes you out of the meet. We were reeling them in but we didn’t have enough time.”

Despite the loss, Halliday won another all-around competition, this time with a score of 39.400. As a senior, this was her last home meet of her BYU career. Vidmar and Mikaela Jones also competed in their last home meet as seniors.

BYU travels to Logan, Utah for a tri-meet in which they will face Utah State and New Hampshire on Friday, March 4.

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