Cougars upset No. 10 California in home opener
PROVO, Utah – The BYU gymnastics team upset No. 10 California 196.025 to 194.350 in its 2018 season home opener on Friday night in the Smith Fieldhouse.
"We’re doing some really high-level gymnastics," BYU gymnastics head coach Guard Young said. "I’m so proud of the girls and how they stuck with it tonight. I think great things are going to happen for BYU gymnastics.
Jill van Mierlo took home the all-around title with a score of 39.175. Four Cougars matched career-high scores including Angel Zhong on vault and Natasha Trejo Marsh on beam. Senior captain Mackenzie Douglas and sophomore Shannon Hortman Evans both tied career-highs with a 9.900 on the floor.
"Jill was great tonight, leading off on bars and having a great finish on balance beam," Young said. "Hats off to Jill tonight."
The Cougars started their first rotation on vault, posting a 48.750. Freshman Avery Bennett led BYU with a 9.850. Zhong matched a career-high 9.825 and Douglas added a 9.725. At the end of the first rotation, the Cougars led the Golden Bears 48.750 to 47.925.
In the second rotation, BYU posted a 48.925 as Evans led the team with a 9.850. Freshman Abby Boden and senior captain Brittni Hawes followed both with a 9.800. Van Mierlo contributed a 9.750 as well. The Cougars maintained their lead over Cal, 97.675 to 96.825.
Led by van Mierlo's 9.900 team-high on beam in the third rotation, the Cougars recorded a 49.125. Marsh followed by matching a career-high 9.875 while Boden added a 9.850. BYU extended its lead, 146.800 to 145.300.
To close the meet, the Cougars earned their highest event score of the night with a 49.225. Evans and Douglas recorded high scores of 9.900, both matching career highs. Briana Pearson and senior captain Kyleigh Greenlief both added a 9.850 and van Mierlo contributed a 9.825 as BYU took the victory over Cal, 196.025 to 194.350.
The Cougars continue at home next Friday, Jan. 19 at 11:00 a.m. MST. Over 3,000 elementary school kids will attend the meet at the Smith Fieldhouse. The meet will be broadcast live on BYUtv with live stats available on the women’s gymnastics schedule page.
Cougars host No. 11 California in home opener
PROVO, Utah - The Cougars host No. 11 California Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse in the BYU gymnastics team’s season home opener.
“This home opener is an alumni meet for us,” head coach Guard Young said. “We’re honoring the 1998 gymnastics team that went to the national championships as well as the associate head coach at Cal, Liz Crandall-Howell. It’s going to be a fun treat for us gymnastics nerds.”
The Cougars come into the meet after a loss to Utah last Friday, 197.000 to 194.275. Senior captain and floor specialist Kyleigh Greenlief led BYU with a 9.825 on floor, the highest score for the Cougars. Sophomore Shannon Hortman Evans took third in the all-around with a 38.900 after posting a 9.800 on both bars and floor. Five freshmen made their debut in the lineup: Abby Boden, Avery Bennett, Helody Cyrenne, Abbey Miner and Haley Pitou.
Despite the loss, Young remains optimistic for the coming season.
“This was a great start to the season. I liked our preparations coming in, I like my team and I like our chances. I think we can come away with a win this week,” Young said.
The Golden Bears open their season Monday in the NorCal Classic against No. 18 Stanford, Sacramento State, San Jose State and UC Davis. Cal competed at nationals for the fourth-consecutive season last year and earned a No. 11 preseason ranking this year.
Several alumni will be honored at Friday's meet. BYU assistant coach, Natalie Broekman, and Young’s sister, Jessica Young, both competed on the 1998 team and upset No. 3 Utah, 196.050 to 195.975.
Elisabeth Crandall-Howell, the Bears’ associate head coach, was a two-time first-team All-American on the uneven bars as a BYU gymnast. During her time on the team, the Cougars qualified for three NCAA Championships from 1994-1996. Crandall-Howell qualified for nationals on the individual level in 1993 and was the NCAA Regional uneven bars champion three of her four years at BYU.