(Photo by Bella Torgerson/BYU Photo)
SALT LAKE CITY – BYU gymnastics opened its 2014 season by scoring a 194.550 for a third-place finish at the Huntsman Center as part of the Deseret First Duel.
The Cougars finished behind No. 6 Utah’s 196.650 and No. 23 Boise State’s 195.850. Southern Utah scored a 192.025.
“We made some mistakes, it looked like we had first-meet jitters,” BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said. “We need to continue to improve and get better. We can stay with anybody if we hit our stuff.”
BYU placed two gymnasts in the top four in the entire meet for their all-around scores. Sophomore Makenzie Johnson scored a 39.00 and junior Raquel Willman finished with a 38.575.
Johnson scored a 9.70 on the beam to start the meet while sophomore Emily Vidmar and junior Megan Bain both recorded a 9.675. Ashley Follett and Summer Raymond rounded out the group to give the Cougars a 47.825, good for third place at the end of the first event.
On the floor exercise, three Cougars scored 9.800 or higher, led by senior Haylee Rollins who notched 9.850, the third-best finish by any gymnast at the meet. Willman and Johnson chipped in a 9.825 and 9.800, respectively.
The Cougars recorded multiple career-high scores on the vault as sophomore Madeline Nilsson finished with a 9.80 and junior KayCee Gassaway picked up a 9.875, both personal bests. Johnson tied her career high with a 9.875 to help BYU end with a 49.150 on the vault.
BYU finished with a 48.775 on the bars as Rollins led the team with a 9.825 followed closely by Eliane Kulczyk’s 9.80 mark. Willman added to the score as she notched a 9.775.
Up next, the Cougars travel to Idaho to compete against Boise State and Denver on Friday at 7 p.m. MST.