DENTON, Texas – Newcomers and veterans came together to overcome some adversity and give the BYU women’s gymnastics team a second-place finish with a 193.450 at the Texas Woman’s Quad Meet on Saturday night from the Kitty Magee Arena in Denton, Tex.
Arizona won the meet with a 195.800 and had the top individual scorer in three out of four rotations. Texas Woman’s came in third with a score of 191.475 and Wisconsin-Whitewater rounded out the scores with a 185.900
"We kind of fumbled the opening kickoff you could say but the team came back well from it," head coach Brad Cattermole said. "You have to mentally readjust and I thought we did a good job with that. I was happy with our bounce back tonight."
The team took a tough blow at the start of the meet on the balance beam when freshman Madeline Nilsson suffered a knee injury in the first event. Sophomore Megan Bain stepped up with a 9.800 to lead the Cougars.
"It's hard but you have to get used to it," Cattermole said. "People get hurt and you’ve got to be able to deal with it and keep going. It was kind of on a fluke thing but you’ve got to move on."
The team gained ground on the floor, with BYU’s five scorers notching a 9.675 or better. Bain led the way again with a 9.800 and veteran senior Sarah Yandow Wensel scored a 9.775 to keep pace. Freshman Eliane Kulczyk scored 9.725 and junior Raquel Willman was right in the mix with a 9.700.
Kulczyk led the way on the vault with a 9.875. Fellow newcomer Makenzie Johnson scored a 9.800, and Wensel and senior Haylee Rollins both picked up 9.750 scores. Willman rounded out the Cougars’ top five with a 9.700.
Willman and Rollins landed the team’s top marks on the bars, scoring a 9.825 each, good for the top marks of any gymnast at the meet. Wensel and Bain also helped out with a 9.750 and 9.725, respectively. Willman finished third in the all-around competition with a 38.925.
"It was a good meet in terms of several outstanding performances despite Madeline getting hurt," Cattermole said. "We are hanging in there."
Up next, BYU returns to the Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. to host Boise State. The meet will be broadcast live on BYUtv.
Kenny is a BYU graduate, currently working as a football media relations assistant and gymnastics SID at BYU. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter @KContheflipside