(Rebeca Fuentes/BYU Photo)

BYU gymnastics looking to young talent in Best of Utah season opener

BYU gymnastics will open its 2022 season Friday in the Rio Tinto Best of Utah NCAA Gymnastics Meet, but the team won’t have all of the pieces it may have hoped for heading into the new year.

Head coach Guard Young applauded the team’s performance in last Saturday’s full scrimmage but said since then they have been affected by COVID-19 cases and the flu.

While the squad will be missing some players following COVID-19 protocols, Young is thrilled they can still fill the team and compete with the young talent they have.

“I want to see our freshmen come out and attack and go big. If that means you fall, you fall,” Young said in an interview, expressing his excitement for some of the young gymnasts who will be stepping up.

The meet will take place Friday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.

For fans wanting to attend Best of Utah, tickets are still on sale through the Maverik Center. The meet will also be broadcast live on BYUtv.

This meet marks the third edition of a five-year partnership between Rio Tinto and the Maverik Center. The event will feature the state’s four collegiate women’s gymnastics programs: BYU, Southern Utah University, University of Utah and Utah State University, all of which received a top-30 ranking in the 2022 WCGA preseason poll.

BYU placed second in each of the two previous Best of Utah meets.

While BYU did not take the overall title last season, it left the event with multiple achievements and solid individual performances. The team scored an impressive 195.700, and All-American Abbey Alder-Miner, who has since graduated, placed third in All-Around competition with a 39.275, earning MVP for the Cougars.

BYU gymnastics celebrated placing second at 2021 Rio Tinto Best of Utah Gymnastics Meet. The team will open its 2022 season Friday at the Best of Utah meet. (BYU Photo)

Young is preaching a message of positivity to his team going into tomorrow’s meet.

“The one thing I’m really challenging this team with right now is to look at the glass half full. Let’s focus on the positive, and more positive will lead to greater positive,” Young said.

The BYU gymnastics team looks to build on its admirable 2021 season after finishing ranked No. 19 in the nation and winning a Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference title.

The team sits at No. 19 in this year’s preseason poll and seeks to claim its first in-state title along with a third straight Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference championship.

This year’s captains are Elease Rollins, Brittany Vitkauskas, Haley Pitou and Sadie Miner-Van Tassell.

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