(Photo by Todd Wakefield/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – The BYU gymnastics team qualified to compete in the NCAA Regionals for the 24th time in the last 26 years to cap off a successful season.
In their 12 meets during the 2015 season, the Cougars finished in first place three times and competed against teams that were ranked in the top 25 including Utah, Boise State, Denver and Central Michigan.
BYU finished in fifth place at the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championship with junior Makenzie Johnson named to the All-MRGC First Team in the all-around and balance beam. Freshman Jill Van Mierlo was also named the MRGC Freshman of the Year.
Johnson and Van Mierlo led the Cougars this season, both competing in the all-around, and were named MRGC Gymnasts of the Week. Van Mierlo was honored on Feb. 9, after tying for first place in the all-around with a personal-best 39.325. Johnson was named on March 9 after finishing on top in the all-around with a 39.275.
Injuries struck the team taking out a huge contributor in junior Eliane Kulczyk, who competed on vault, bars and floor, after the first four meets of the season. Van Mierlo also suffered a foot injury eliminating her from participating in the last three meets, including the MRGC Championship and NCAA Regionals.
Seniors KayCee Gassaway, Ashley Robinson and Jordan Schult made big contributions during their 2015 campaign. Gassaway competed on vault, bars and floor with season highs of 9.875 on all three events with Robinson competing on beam with a career-high 9.825. Schult also competed on vault (9.875), beam (9.875) and floor (9.850) recording career highs in all three events this year.
Nationally, BYU finished the year on floor exercise ranked No. 21 with an average score of 49.165. Its season-high 49.250 on floor came against Boise State on the road on Feb. 27. The Cougars recorded season highs on vault with a 49.175, bars with a 49.050 and beam with a 49.025. Their season-high total came on the road against Utah State with a 196.375.
BYU gymnastics head coach Brad Cattermole announced his retirement with his wife, Dawn Cattermole, who has been an assistant coach since 1987, after coaching the team for the past 28 years. The Cattermole’s guided the Cougars to eight National Championship Tournament team appearances and competed in 24 NCAA Regionals during their tenure.
With a new head coach on its way, BYU looks to build on its 2015 campaign to reach the NCAA Championships next year.