PROVO, UTAH — The 2016-17 BYU gymnastics team will make its debut in the Blue and White intrasquad meet this Friday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m. MST, in the Smith Fieldhouse.
“We’re not peaking for the Blue and White. We’re actually finishing our hardest training week the week of the Blue and White. We’re training though it and we’re using it as an opportunity to train,” BYU head coach Guard Young said. “I don’t know if the polish, hits and sticks will be there, but it’s forcing these girls to do their gymnastics out on the hard floor and vault on the hard mats.”
This year’s team features 10 returners, eight incoming freshmen and one redshirt freshman. The gymnasts will be divided into a blue and white team with each team led by one or two captains. Mackenzie Douglas and Jessie Westergard will captain the white team and compete along with Cheyenne Hill, Taylor Harward, Natasha Trejo, Savanna Maradiaga, Hannah Miller, Macie Miller and Emily Cannon.
The blue team will be led by Jill Van Mierlo and include Brittni Hawes, Marielle Mitchell, Kyleigh Greenlief, Shannon Hortman, Lauren Love, Erin Hilton, Briana Pearson and Angel Zhong.
“My goal is to create the competition spirit amongst our team,” Young said. “We really do treat it like it’s a meet. It’s a blue team versus a white team. It’s not player versus player, trying to beat them out for a roster spot. This gives every girl the opportunity to compete.”
Last year, BYU qualified to compete in the NCAA Regionals, where the team finished in sixth place. They look to build on the coaching staff’s first year as they introduce new gymnasts in Hilton, Hortman, Love, H. Miller, M. Miller, Pearson and Zhong. Returners Hawes, Douglas, Trejo and Westergard are expected to be powerful forces for the Cougars.
Admission will be free to the public.