Mertz, Claveau Honored at Y Awards

Former gymnast Marie-Helene Claveau and Assistant Coach Shauna Mertz were honored at the Y Awards Wednesday night. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Gymnastics assistant coach Shauna Mertz and former gymnast Marie-Helene Claveau were honored by BYU coaches and athletes at the annual Y awards ceremony Wednesday night.

Mertz, in her 13th year as the Cougars' beam coach, was honored as the Assistant Coach of the Year for her efforts in helping the beam squad become one of the most consistent group of athletes on the gymnastics team. Perhaps the toughest event in the sport of gymnastics, Mertz continues to instill the confidence and skills necessary to produce a strong contingent of athletes on beam. Under her tutelage five gymnasts have received scores of 9.975 or higher, including one perfect 10.

"I want to give my appreciation to the gymnastics team," Mertz said upon receiving the award. "I love my job and am glad to be working here. Our team moto this past year was 'give your best' and 'dream big.' We do that at this university."

Claveau received the Lu Wallace Outstanding Senior Female Athlete award given to the senior who has most clearly demonstrated high athletic and academic performance and sportsmanship. During her senior season at BYU, Claveau ranked in the Top 30 nationally on vault, beam and in the all-around. Five of her performances during her career rank among the Top 10 in school history on vault, beam and floor. She was one of only 11 athletes named COSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) academic all-district for 2005 and was an Academic All-American each of her two years with the Cougars.

"I am truly touched to receive this award," Claveau said in a statement read by BYU coach Brad Cattermole. "I only spent two years at BYU but I enjoyed all of it."

The Y awards are an annual event that pays tribute to athletes, coaches and volunteers for their efforts on and off the field of competition. The winners are voted on by student athletes in all the various sports and represent the best accomplishments and performances of the last 12 months (April 2005-March 2006).

Fans can see the event nationally on BYUTV on Friday, May 12 at 10 p.m. and Saturday, May 13 at 1:30 p.m.