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PROVO -- Four BYU senior gymnasts were honored with a pre-meet ceremony Friday as the Cougars took on Arizona State and Boise State in the Smith Fieldhouse. The seniors and their Cougar teammates then honored the season with their top score of the year to earn the tri-meet victory with a 195.725 performance. Boise State placed second at 195.300 followed by Arizona State at 193.625.
“This is the kind of meet you coach for,” BYU coach Brad Cattermole said. “I knew we were capable of this. We finally did what we have been doing all along in practice.”
BYU seniors Megan Donehue of Bountiful, Utah, Kaylee Gallup of Houston, Danielle Goldman of Montreal, Canada and McKell Merkley of Payson, Utah, competed in front of the home crowd for the final time. Each contributed to the team’s top night of the season to date.
“It’s hard to know I’m done competing at home but I’m thankful for a couple more meets to end with,” Goldman said. “We pulled together really well. That was just us doing what we do in practice and carrying it over to the meet.”
The Cougars got off to a strong start with a 48.975 on vault followed by a season-high 49.025 on bars. Boise State followed BYU at 96.750 with Arizona State in third at 95.625 with two rotations to go.
On a night honoring the seniors, freshmen Sarah Yandow and Haylee Rollins started strong on the opening event to help build BYU’s momentum. Yandow began the meet with a 9.775 vault and Rollins followed three routines later with the team’s top score, a personal-best 9.850. Sophomores Krysten Koval and Natalie Eyre added 9.725 and 9.825 scores, respectively, to the team tally. Koval’s vault was a season-high performance while Eyre anchored the lineup by delivering a 9.825 or better vault for the fifth time in the last six meets.
On bars BYU got even better. Goldman (9.750) tied her career-high score while Eyre (9.800) and junior Madeleine Johnson (9.900) set new career marks. Merkley (9.750) and Donahue (9.825) came through in their final bars performances in Provo to help the Cougars achieve their best team score of the year on the event with a 49.025. Donahue’s score tied her season high for the third time this season.
The meet continued to crescendo for the Cougars in the third rotation as BYU totaled another season high with a 49.000 total on beam. Johnson’s solid 9.750 was the lowest counting score as Donahue and Eyre added 9.800 routines and Gallup and sophomore Jennifer Lezeu contributed 9.825 performances. Eyre and Lezeu achieved season highs on the event.
The Cougars had a running score of 147.000 and held a full one-point advantage entering the final rotation with Boise State trailing at 146.000 followed by ASU at 144.550. BYU scored 48.725 on floor exercise with Goldman leading the way with a 9.775 to give the Cougars the victory and season-best 195.725 total.
Overall, BYU’s Johnson (9.900) claimed the uneven bars title while Lezeu (9.825) won balance beam. Boise State’s Hannah Redmon (9.875) was the top vaulter and Arizona State’s Mary Atkinson took the floor exercise (9.850) and the all-around title (39.300).