Costly falls contribute to second-place finish in Cedar City


CEDAR CITY, Utah – After several falls on beam the Cougars could not regain their balance to push past Southern Utah Friday night at the Centrum Arena, but were able to hold strong to come out above Sacramento State. 

"Southern Utah is a very good team and they performed great at home," BYU head coach Guard Young said. "We started the meet off on fire; however, we just couldn't keep it going through beam. We are excited to be getting Jill (Van Mierlo) and Eli (Kulczyk) back on multiple events. They should help give us the depth we need."

The Cougars posted a total of 194.00, while the Thunderbirds finished in first with a 195.975. The Hornets came in third at 193.300.

Despite several falls on beam, the Cougars excelled and placed on every event. Makenzie Johnson Halliday took home the all-around title with a 39.175 and won third place on vault and floor. Éliane Kulczyk finished second on bars with a 9.825 and Emily Vidmar tied for first place on beam.

Halliday started off the competition with a score of 9.775 on bars. This led way for Kulczyk to post her best score of the season with a 9.825. Vidmar followed close behind matching Halliday’s score on the bars while Mackenzie Douglas and Brittni Wilde both added scores of 9.750 to give the Cougars a total of 48.875. After the first rotation, BYU led SUU, 48.825, and Sacramento State, 47.725.

The beam proved to be the most difficult rotation of the night for the Cougars. Despite the team’s struggle, Vidmar won the individual title with a score of 9.850. Halliday followed with a 9.750 while Taylor Harward clinched a 9.625, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Cougars in first as they fell behind the Thunderbirds with a total of 47.700 in the second rotation.

On floor, Halliday led the way with a 9.850. Douglas posted a 9.800 and Vidmar a 9.775. Sin To finished it up for the Cougars with a 9.750 to help them to a grand total of 145.275. Southern Utah held its lead with a score of 146.725 while Sacramento State remained in third with 145.025.

In the last rotation, the Cougars scored a total of 48.725 to end the night. Halliday excelled on vault, scoring a 9.800. Teammates Mikaela Jones, To and Douglas all finished with scores of 9.750 to round out the competition. However with scores of 9.900 and 9.875 from Southern Utah in the last rotation, BYU could not come out on top.

The Cougars return next Friday to the Smith Fieldhouse for their second home meet of the season to host in-state rival Utah State at 7 p.m. MST.