PROVO, Utah – Despite record performances from seniors Makenzie Johnson Halliday and Emily Vidmar during Senior Day, BYU women’s gymnastics fell to Southern Utah 196.000-195.750 Saturday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
“Overall I think we’re right where we need to be,” BYU head coach Guard Young said. “It was great to get our season-high on the bars and we ended the meet strong. We’re doing good gymnastics and we’re getting healthy. I think by the end of the season we’ll have the team that we want to put out there.”
BYU began the first rotation on vault with Halliday leading the Cougars with a season-high score of 9.875. Senior Mikaela Jones had her second best vault performance of the season with a score of 9.775 while Cheyenne Hill tied her season and career-high score of 9.750. Sin To also scored a 9.800 to help the Cougars tie their season-best score of 48.950, putting them ahead of Southern Utah’s score of 48.925.
The Cougars continued the momentum into the second rotation on bars, scoring a season-high 49.300, the eighth best all-time score in program history and the best BYU score on bars since February 2004. Brittni Wilde led the Cougars with a personal career-best of 9.900, while Jill Van Mierlo also added a season-high score of 9.875. Halliday and Éliane Kulczyk each recorded season-high scores of 9.850, as did Vidmar with a 9.775. Mackenzie Douglas also earned a career-best score of 9.825 to help BYU increase the lead to 98.250 – 97.975.
In the third rotation, two falls on beam knocked the Cougars out of first place. Vidmar scored a 9.800 and Halliday added a 9.775. Van Mierlo recorded a season-high score of 9.750 while Natasha Trejo notched a 9.725 to give BYU a team score of 48.300. The Cougars trailed the Thunderbirds 146.925-146.550.
In the final event of the meet, BYU totaled a 49.200 on the floor, its highest of the season. Both Halliday and Vidmar received scores of 9.900, tying a career-best for Vidmar and a season-high for Halliday. Trejo, To and Hill earned career-high scores of 9.825, 9.800 and 9.775, respectively. The Thunderbirds held steady on beam with solid performances from all six gymnasts to end the meet and take first.
Halliday won the all-around with a season-high score of 39.400, while also tying for first place on vault and floor and third on bars. Wilde took home the individual title on bars with her career-high score of 9.900 and Van Mierlo placed second with Kulczyk following right behind to tie Halliday for third. On floor, Vidmar tied Halliday for first place tying her career-high score of 9.900.
BYU travels to the Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum in Logan on Friday, March 4, at 7 p.m. MST to participate in a duel match against Utah State and New Hampshire.
PROVO, Utah – The BYU women’s gymnastics team will honor the seniors in its last home meet as it hosts Southern Utah Saturday afternoon.
“SUU is a great team and they’re in the top 20, but they’re beatable, especially at our home,” BYU head coach Guard Young said. "We just have to do our job of hitting and sticking.”
This year’s seniors include Makenzie Johnson Halliday, Emily Vidmar and Mikaela Jones. All three seniors have competed in every meet this season. Halliday leads the group scoring a career-high on beam with a 9.925. Halliday also notched scores of 9.925 on vault and floor and a 9.875 on bars throughout her career. Vidmar has been a stable competitor in her time at BYU as well. She set a career high on beam this season against Boise State with a 9.875 and has had scores of 9.850 and 9.900 on bars and floor, respectively, during her career. Jones has also seen every meet competing on vault, beam and floor. She has personal highs of 9.875 and 9.850 on vault and beam, respectively.
“It's going to be a special night for our seniors,” Young said. “It’s their last time they’ll be here at BYU representing their school. We still have several meets left, but this will be their last one at home. It will be a special night to honor them.”
The Cougars and Thunderbirds met two weeks ago in Cedar City where several falls on the beam kept the Cougars from coming out on top, 195.975-194.000. Last week Southern Utah beat No. 3 Michigan to move into the No. 18 ranking. The Thunderbirds also set a season high score of 196.300, their fifth highest score in school history. Junior Virginia Brownsell scored a 9.950 on floor to tie the highest score ever in SUU history.
“My experience with senior night is that the emotion carries over and you get good performances,” Young said. “I expect to see good performances from our seniors like we’ve seen all year.”
The meet begins at 1:00 p.m. MST in the Smith Fieldhouse. It will be televised live on BYUtv with live stats found on the BYU gymnastics schedule page.