PROVO, Utah – Career-high performances from four different Cougars helped BYU gymnastics edge No. 19 Southern Utah University 195.650-195.625 on Monday at the Smith Fieldhouse.
BYU came up with a season-high score on the floor, a 49.200, and Shannon Hortman, Angel Zhong, Natasha Trejo and Kyleigh Greenlief all logged new career highs during the meet. Hortman tied and earned new careers high on bars and beam, respectively, while Zhong set a new personal best on vault, Trejo on bars and floor and Greenlief on floor.
“This meet was a challenge for our girls, as this was the first time they competed in Friday/Monday meets, but I was just really happy with the energy and the enthusiasm they had out here,” BYU head coach Guard Young said. “The crowd was fantastic—they blew me away. Now we are just hitting the last bit of the season on a good, high note with this win.”
The Cougars kicked things off in the first rotation on the vault, and Mackenzie Douglas posted the high score of the team, tying her career-high 9.875. She was followed by Zhong who scored a 9.825, a new career-high for her in the event. Jill van Mierlo scored a 9.800, tying her season-high, to equal Cheyenne Hill's earlier 9.800 performance on the vault as the two rounded out the top scorers for the Cougars. BYU finished the rotation just behind SUU, with the Cougars earning a 49.025 on vault to the Thunderbirds’ 49.125 on uneven bars.
BYU moved to uneven bars in the second rotation, which was highlighted by three Cougars scoring a 9.875: van Mierlo, Hortman and Trejo. Trejo’s score was a career-high, while Hortman tied her career-best on the uneven bars. With those scores, and a 9.800 from Jessie Westergard, BYU took the lead from SUU, 98.225 to 98.150.
As the Cougars took on the beam, Hortman claimed a team-high score of 9.875, which was also a new personal best. Trejo was close behind with a 9.850, while Hill logged a score of 9.750 and Briana Pearson recorded a 9.725. After the third rotation, the Cougars saw the lead go back to the Thunderbirds but the contest remained close, 146.675 to 146.450.
As the two teams moved into the fourth and final rotation, Hortman, Douglas and Greenlief earned the high scores for the Cougars with 9.875s on the floor exercise. Greenlief’s score was a new career high for her, and the 9.850 that Trejo contributed was also her best career performance on floor. A rare perfect 10 from Stacie Webb for the Thunderbirds highlighted SUU’s time on the beam, but the Cougars’ cumulative performances on floor were enough to defeat the Thunderbirds by a slim score of 195.650 to 195.625.
Next, BYU will compete in the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championship on Saturday, March 18, in Logan, Utah, at 6 p.m. MDT. The meet will be streamed on FloGymnastics and live stats will be available.