No. 11 BYU celebrates 197.075-196.550 win over SUU
CEDAR CITY, Utah — No. 11 BYU triumphed over No. 18 Southern Utah, 197.075-196.550, on Friday in Cedar City, equaling the 10th-highest score in program history.
Not only is 197.075 the highest score of the season for the Cougars, the team celebrated new season-high tallies on the uneven bars, vault and floor, including four career-high marks.
“SUU really knows how to run a fun, high energy gymnastics meet,” head coach Guard Young said. “They have fans who appreciate good gymnastics. It is an intimidating environment for the girls, but their fans do a great job at supporting both teams. Great team. Great meet. Hats off to them.”
A major highlight occurred when senior Abbey Miner-Alder trumped current MRGC Gymnast of the Week, Karley McClain, in the all-around. McClain finished with a 39.225. Meanwhile, Alder crushed her previous career high (39.375) and notched an impressive 39.500.
Young coaches the team to come out like “lightening” and the girls did just that, earning a 49.375 on the uneven bars, the eighth highest bars score in program history. Seniors Angel Zhong and Abbey Miner-Alder both snagged 9.850 scores with Alder matching her career high. Sophomore Anyssa Alvarado and junior Abby Beeston helped the score climb with 9.875 scores. Senior Abby Boden-Stainton topped it off with her career-high score of 9.925. This would win her the uneven bars title.
Heading to the vault, BYU led by .400. The team carried its momentum into the second rotation, achieving yet another season-high total of 49.100 on the apparatus. Senior Haley Pitou and Zhong led the rotation by tying their season-high scores of 9.800. Freshman Allix Mason celebrated the first career-high score of the night, a 9.825. Alder would finish with a 9.850, the highest vault score of the meet, collecting the title alongside SUU’s Morgan Alfaro and Rachel Smith.
The Cougars did not skip a beat on the floor, as they notched a 49.400, a season-high score. At this point, BYU celebrated season-high tallies on all three events and led by a wide margin of 147.875-147.275. The team boasted two more career-high scores from senior Jordan Danbury-Matthews, a 9.875, and junior Brittney Vitkauskas, a 9.925. Alder mimicked the 9.925, earning the pair the floor title for the night.
Starting the final rotation, the Cougars held a daunting .600 lead over the Thunderbirds. All gymnasts earned a 9.775 or higher. Freshman Sophia McClelland and sophomore Lexi Mather contributed scores of 9.850, topped off by Alder’s score of 9.875. This would earn the all-arounder her third event title of the night. In the end, BYU earned a solid 49.200 on the event and its fourth consecutive win over SUU.
“I’m really happy for Abbey Miner-Alder,” Young said. “With some COVID-19 protocols, she ended up coming in as an alternate on bars, which put her into the all-around. I know she was itching to get back in the all-around and that was a pretty impressive score. I’m proud of her for coming in at the last minute and winning that meet."
Coming up, the Cougars will host Boise State and Air Force Academy in a tri-meet on Friday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.