In her three years at BYU, Kelly Parkinson has been rewriting the BYU women's gymnastics record books. Amazingly, Parkinson has 19 scores that rank in the top ten all-time for bars, vault, floor and all-around at BYU, including four school records.
Parkinson's competitive spirit has helped her to excel in gymnastics. As a sophomore, Parkinson earned All-American status for the Cougars. That same year she broke the record in the all-around competition with a 39.550.
As a junior in 2001, she tied her own record by scoring another 39.550, and helped her team set a new school record by scoring a 196.900 against Missouri. Then, exactly one month later, she broke that record once again, scoring a 39.625 in the all-around while helping the Cougars break the team record once again with a 197.325, the first 197 in school history.
Previous to this season, BYU has had three team scores above 196. With one meet left in the 2001 season, the Cougars have already topped the 196 mark four times, including the 197.325. The Cougars are currently ranked No. 12 in the nation and Parkinson is No. 5 in the all-around.
"She doesn't like to lose," said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. "She has an unbelievably tough head. Nothing rattles her. That's why she is so good, she hits when she needs to hit. She is mentally tough."
Parkinson is a 5-2 junior from Houston, Texas, although her family recently moved to Provo. She has two brothers and four sisters. In fact, her sister Holly was a former All-American tennis player for the Cougars.
Kelly has been the anchor of the team in every event this year as the final gymnast in vault, bars, beam and floor. She holds the team-high in every event this year except beam and floor.
Parkinson has competed in the all-around competition in nine of ten meets so far this year and has scored over 39 in every one, including four scores over 39.500.
"In work-outs, she is by far the most efficient," said Cattermole. "She does the job and moves on. She has blossomed this year as a team leader. She sets to do something and she does it."
BYU all-around record holder with a 39.625
Set BYU all-around record in back-to-back meets this year
2000 All-America Second Team in the all-around
2000 All-America Second Team on floor exercise
Anchors Cougars in all four events
Led Cougars to No. 11 national finish in 2000