PROVO, Utah - The BYU gymnastics team will make its debut in the Blue and White intra-squad meet under the direction of new head coach Guard Young and assistant coaches Natalie Broekman and Brogan Evanson this Friday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. MST in the Smith Fieldhouse.
“The intra-squad meet is a great tool to get the girls in a real meet environment,” Young said. “You can hit a routine in the gym in front of your coach, but can you hit it in front of a judge or in front of a crowd? In all intents and purposes, this is a real meet for these girls.”
The 2016 team features 12 returners, four freshmen and one transfer. The gymnasts will be divided into a blue and white team with each team being led by a captain. Éliane Kulczyk will lead the blue team with Jill Van Mierlo, Savanna Maradiaga, Sin To, Emily Vidmar, Brigette Ostrem, Jessie Westergard and Taylor Harward on her team.
The white team will be led by Makenzie Johnson Halliday and will include Mackenzie Douglas, Natasha Trejo, Mikaela Jones, Cheyenne Hill, Kendall Adams, Kyleigh Greenlief, Brittni Wilde and Marielle Mitchell.
“This is a great way to see everyone compete instead of just the six-player line up,” Young said. “We’ll see 12 players on every event. Girls who normally don’t make a line up will have an opportunity to compete and gain experience for next year.”
Last year the Cougars qualified to compete in the NCAA Regionals where they came in sixth place. This year they look to improve as they introduce new gymnasts in Hill, Mitchell, Trejo, Maradiaga and Douglas. Seniors Halliday, Vidmar and Jones will open their last season and look to Young to lead them to a national championship.
“This is the debut of the new team, the new coaching staff and a new style of what’s happening,” Young said. “It’s a new era of BYU gymnastics. We want people leaving the meet entertained. Gymnastics is a sport, but it is also a performance, and we want our ladies to go out and perform for our fans.”
Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. MST and admission will be free to the public.