BYU gymnastics took center stage at the Marriott Center for the final time this season to host the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championships March 22. Although the team earned an undesired third place, head coach Guard Young was recognized as the MRGC Coach of the Year for the first time.
Young witnessed a breakthrough for BYU this season. For the first time since Young started coaching in 2015, the team earned a 197.000 against BSU on March 7, the team’s highest score since 2004.
BYU, which currently holds a No. 15 ranking, also held an impressive No. 6 ranking during week two of the season.
BYU faced No. 25 Southern Utah University on March 15 and picked up a 196.550. The last time BYU faced Boise State University, the Cougars earned not only their season-high score of 197.000 but also Young’s highest score at BYU. The Broncos are on a four-year winning streak at the MRGC Championships.
BYU started on the floor in the first rotation. Typically, Guard reserves the floor for the Cougars to end home meets. Of the 24 athletes, both freshman Sadie Miner and junior Briana Pearson earned 11th place positions with a 9.775, BYU’s highest scoring floor routine of the night.
The team managed an overall floor score of 48.625, the team’s lowest floor score of the season. Sitting in third place, BYU trailed SUU’s 48.650 and BSU’s 49.000.
BYU headed to the vault in the second rotation where junior Angel Zhong earned a 9.825. BYU pulled a 48.900 but failed to mimic its typical score of at least a 49.000. All four teams remained in the same position going into the third rotation.
BYU then headed to the uneven bars where junior Shannon Evans racked up a score of 9.900, propelling her team to earn a 49.025. This routine is one of many that earned Evans the title of MRGC Gymnast of the Year. She also became the MRGC Specialist of the Year on uneven bars and Co-Specialist of the Year on floor.
Heading into the final rotation and trailing .255 points behind second place SUU, the Cougars hit their beam set hard. Freshman Helody Cyrenne tied for first with the night’s highest beam score, a 9.900. Evans also impressed with a 9.875, matching her career best.
BYU took third place with a 195.750 in the end, giving No. 13 BSU its fifth-straight conference title.
“I love the fight that these girls showed,” Young said. “They finished strong all the way through our last event on the balance beam.
The Cougars will now prepare for regionals, which will take the place the first weekend of April.
“Moving forward, the focus is on the first round of the NCAA Championships,” Young said. “I like where we’re at, our lineups are healthy and I anticipate us making a run at regionals.”