Fourth-place finish at MRGC championship brings positive outlook


LOGAN, Utah — Despite finishing fourth at the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championship with a score of 194.675, four BYU gymnasts earned awards Saturday night at the Dee Glen Spectrum.

“There are a lot of positives and I love the direction we’re going,” BYU head coach Guard Young said. “Every routine out there tonight is a returning routine next year. We’re only going to get better and deeper with experience and the new freshmen coming in.”

Boise State claimed its third-straight conference title with a 197.050. Utah State followed in second with a 196.100, Southern Utah in third with a 196.075 and BYU in fourth with a 194.675.

Shannon Hortman took home the 2017 MRGC Freshman of the Year Award. She also earned a 39.250 in the all-around for second place. Junior Jill van Mierlo finished third in the all-around with a 38.700.

“Shannon taking Freshman of the Year is well deserved,” Young said. “She’s had a great freshman year.”

Junior Mackenzie Douglas and freshman Angel Zhong were both All-MRGC First Team selections on vault.

BYU started the night out on floor, earning a 48.950. Hortman led the Cougars with a 9.850 on the event while Briana Pearson and Kyleigh Greenlief each contributed a 9.800.  At the end of the first rotation, Boise State led with a 49.350, followed by Utah State’s 49.000 in second place. Southern Utah came in fourth with a 48.750.

On vault, BYU scored a 48.900 anchored by Douglas’ 9.825. Zhong and Hortman added scores of 9.800 and 9.775, respectively. All four teams maintained their standing with the Broncos in first (98.600), followed by the Aggies (98.125), Cougars (97.850) and Thunderbirds (97.775).

Costly falls on uneven bars moved BYU to fourth place with a running score of 145.950 after the third rotation. Hortman led the team with a 9.825 while van Mierlo earned a 9.775. Natasha Trejo posted a 9.725. Boise State continued to set the pace with a 147.600, followed by Utah State’s 147.150. Southern Utah moved to third place with a 146.700.

Three Cougars posted 9.800s on beam in the final and fourth rotation, including Cheyenne Hill, Hortman and Trejo. Hill tied her career high with the score. Hannah Miller added a 9.750 as BYU finished the night with a 48.725 on beam.

The Cougars look to continue their season competing in the NCAA regionals. The NCAA will announce its selections on Monday.