BYU gymnastics earns victory over Utah State

BYU gymnastics scored a season-high score of 196.650 to secure a victory over Utah State (195.900) Friday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.

“We are thrilled with how the girls performed tonight,” said head coach Guard Young. “Utah State is a great team, and there was amazing energy in the Spectrum tonight. That is the gymnastics we have been seeing as coaches in practice, so it was nice to see the girls believe in themselves and perform at that level tonight. The girls focused on positive self-talk this week, which really paid off, and we saw great gymnastics tonight.”

Allix Mason started the first rotation for the cougars on the uneven bars, scoring a 9.775. Anna Bramblett and the freshman Kylie Equinto both scored a 9.825. Lindsey Hunter rounded a career-high score of 9.900, earning her first place at the meet. Anyssa Alvarado, the captain of uneven bars, usually averages a 9.900 but closed out with a 9.825.

“I trusted my team so much. I think we pulled it together amazing,” Alvarado said after her team’s performance on bars.

BYU was leading into the second rotation with a team score of 49.150 to Utah State’s 48.625. The lineup for vault included Sophie Dudley with a score of 9.750, freshman Madison Raesly-Patton with a 9.625, Sydney Benson with a 9.775, and Rebekah Ripley with a 9.700. Both senior Allix Mason scored a season-high and freshman Kylie Equinto scored a career-high of 9.850. All six gymnasts produced the highest team vault score of the season with 48.925.

“The culture that we’ve created, we all trust each other,” said freshman Kylie Equinto. “We all work hard in the gym every day and they’ve helped me transition from club to college,” said Equinto about her teammates helping her adapt.

The second rotation was close, but BYU held on to the lead with a 98.075 to the Aggies 97.825. The next apparatus for the third rotation was floor. BYU had a solid performance from all six gymnasts. Eliza Millar opened the floor with a score of 9.825, followed by Sydney Benson with 9.850. Elease Rollins and Heidi Schooley both rounded their scores with 9.800. Rebekah Ripley and Sophie Dudley both scored 9.875, earning them first place at the meet.

The final rotation of the night was the balance beam. BYU has struggled with the balance beam in previous meets but has improved each meet as well. Madison Raesly-Patton got the Cougars off to a strong start with a score of 9.850, which Mina Margraf scored as well. Lauren Ono scored a new career-high with a 9.900. The “beam queen” Elease Rollins closed out the rotation with a season-high of 9.925, earning her first place. BYU finished with the highest beam score so far this season with 49.350.

“I am so proud of our beam team tonight,” associate head coach Natalie Broekman said. “They finally did what we have seen from them throughout the preseason. I know tonight’s performance will invoke more confidence in them as we move deeper into our season.”

The Cougars keep the improvement streak alive. BYU will stay on the road and will play Southern Utah University this weekend. The next home game will be Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Marriott Center.

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