BYU Gymnastics 2016 Season Review
PROVO, Utah - Under direction of BYU gymnastics head coach Guard Young, the gymnastics team qualified to compete in the NCAA Regionals for the seventh-straight year and for the first time in Young’s career as coach, the 25th time in 28 years, to cap off a successful season.
“I’m proud of all the girls,” Young said. “They handled the changes of new coaches and a new practice schedule very well.”
In the 2016 season, the Cougars finished ahead of UC Davis, Alaska, Sacramento State, New Hampshire and Utah State through 12 of their meets. They also competed against teams that were ranked in the top 25 including Utah, Boise State, Southern Utah and Arizona.
BYU finished in third place at the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Conference Championship with senior Makenzie Johnson Halliday being named as the MRGC Gymnast of the year. Halliday was also named to the All-MRGC First Team on vault and floor and to the second team in the all-around. Sophomore Mackenzie Douglas was named to the All-MRGC Second Team on vault, bars and floor while sophomore Sin To was named to the first team on vault.
Halliday led the Cougars this season in the all-around and was named MRGC Gymnast of the Week three times. She was honored first on Jan. 25 after competing against Boise State and UC Davis while setting season-high marks on all four events. Halliday again received this honor on Feb. 16th for her performance against Southern Utah and was honored the following week for winning the all-around, beam and floor titles against Utah State.
Redshirt senior Eliane Kulczyk was also honored in the MRGC as the Specialist of the Week after securing a 9.900 on bars against Utah State late in the season.
Injuries struck the team after the first two meets of the season, taking out a huge contributor in sophomore Jill Van Mierlo, who competed in the all-around. Van Mierlo slowly eased her way back into the meets, but did not make a full recovery to compete in the all-around. Kulczyk also dealt with a few injuries after coming off a season-ending injury last year. She made her run in the middle of the season on bars and beam, but another knee injury ended her season again. With Kulczyk’s injuries, doctors suggested it is time for her to retire, so Kulczyk will not return for the 2017 season.
Seniors Emily Vidmar, Mikaela Jones and Halliday made big contributions to the team in their last year as BYU gymnasts. Vidmar competed on bars, beam and floor, setting career-high scores of 9.850, 9.875 and 9.900, respectively. Jones competed on vault, beam and floor, hitting a career-high of 9.850 on beam. Halliday competed in the all-around and recorded career-highs on beam (9.925) and floor (9.950) while also winning the all-around title in most meets.
Nationally, BYU finished the year ranked No. 34 overall. Its season-high total of 196.100 came in the MRGC Championship in Boise on March 19th. The Cougars recorded season highs of 49.050 on vault and beam, 49.300 on bars and 49.325 on floor. Their bar score also tied the eight best score in program history, a score that has not been achieved since February 2004.
BYU gymnastics head coach Guard Young looks forward to a summer of training to begin building a new program for BYU gymnastics.
“Even though we do not have required practices, all of the girls have made plans to stay and train. It will be nice to have a full staff as well. Brogan Evanson and Natalie Broekman will be able to really help the team with their dance and choreography. Summer is our season.”
With a full summer to prepare for the 2017 season, BYU looks to reach the NCAA Championships next year.
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