Sadie Miner-Van Tassell sticks a landing in her floor routine in the Smith Fieldhouse (BYU Photo)

Cougars fall short at Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championship

No. 21 BYU gymnastics lost in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championship against No. 31 Southern Utah University who took third, No. 24 Bosie State University who took second and No. 25 Utah State University who took first Saturday at the ExtraMile Arena in Boise, Idaho.

BYU started on the bars for the first rotation. The Cougars had a strong start with Abby Beeston scoring a 9.825 and Allix Mason scoring a 9.850. Anyssa Alvardo stuck her landing and earned a 9.925, tying her season-high for the seventh time.

However, after a missed landing from Sadie Miner-Van Tassell and a fall from Haley Pitou, the Cougars fell to fourth place, .625 points behind USU.

The Aggies excelled during their first rotation on the beam with Carley Bayles scoring a 9.925 and Sofi Sullivan scoring 9.900.

BYU completed its first rotation with a 48.750 trailing behind BSU (48.925), SUU (49.125) and USU (49.375).

Next, BYU headed to the balance beam, one of their strongest events, ranking 18th nationally. The Cougars started strong with Lauren Ono with a 9.850 and Mason scoring a career-high of 9.875.

Miner-Van Tassell moved past her slip on the bars and scored a 9.825.

There were also outstanding performances from both BSU and USU during the second rotation. Both from BSU, Emily Lopez scored a 9.925 and Emily Muhlenhaupt scored a 9.950 on the bars with USU’s Brie Clark scoring a 9.950 on the floor.

Elease Rollins, ranked 13th in the country on the beam, scored a 9.875, bringing BYU’s total score to 97.975, still in fourth place at the end of the second rotation.

Following the beam, BYU moved to its strongest event, the floor, ranked 16th nationally. The Cougars ended strong with Addy Rieder scoring a 9.850, Miner-Van Tassell scoring a 9.875 and Brittney Vitkauskas scoring a 9.900.

During the third rotation, Adriana Popp from BSU stood out, scoring a 9.900 on the beam.

At the end of the third rotation, BYU, still in fourth, had an overall score of 147.200.

For the final rotation, BYU was on the vault, which is its weakest event, ranked 26th in the nation. They started strong with Pitou scoring a 9.800, Mason scoring a 9.800 and Sydney Benson scoring a 9.850.

Miner-Van Tassell left her team cheering as she scored a 9.950 on the vault, a career-high.

Grace Rojas and Maia Fishwick, both from USU, shined during the final rotation on the bars. Fishwick scored a 9.950 and Rojas scored a 9.900.

While the Cougars tried to claw their way up, recovering from their rough start, their efforts fell short. BYU’s final score was 196.375, placing behind SUU (196.500), BSU (196.550) and USU (197.025).

On the vault, Miner Van-Tassell earned first (9.950) and Benson, Rebecca Wells from USU, and Courtney Blackson from BSU tied for second place (9.850).

There was a three-way tie for first on the bars between Muhlenhaupt, Murakami and Fishwick (9.950).

Bayles (9.925) took first on the beam with Sullivan and Popp tying for second place (9.900).

On the floor, Clark earned first (9.950), with Vitkauskas taking second (9.900) and Miner-Van Tassell tying for third with Aubri Schwartze of SUU (9.875).

Wells took first in all-around (39.400) and Miner-Van Tassell took second (39.000).

Made in Photoshop by Elisabeth Ahlstrom

Despite the fourth-place finish, the Cougars received several 2022 MRGC All-Conference Honors including Guard Young, BYU’s head coach, receiving the MRGC Coach of the Year.

On the bars, Alvardo received First Team Honors and Pitou received second-team honors. On the floor, Beaston and Rieder were both given second-team honors and Vitkauskas was given first-team honors.

Rollins was named the MRGC Beam Specialist of the Year and received first-team honors on the beam.

Miner-Van Tassell was given first-team honors and Vault Specialist of the Year for the MRGC as well as first-team honors for the balance beam and the floor. Miner-Van Tassell also was given all-around honors and was named the MRGC Gymnast of the Year.

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