LIVE BLOG: No. 32 Southern Utah at No. 18 BYU

This MRGC matchup should be a very exciting one. Both Southern Utah and BYU are very young teams with the majority of both of these squads being underclassmen. Last weekend, Southern Utah had their first showing of the season. They were strong on vault and floor right out of the gate, scoring at least a 48.9 on those two events. Though they did have a bit of a struggle on bars and beam scoring just a 48.2 and 48.175 on those events, they definitely showed glimmers of the great potential that the team has on those events. One of the greatest showings of that potential came at the end of the Flipping Birds’ beam rotation. After two gymnasts had already come off the beam during their routines, freshman Alyssa LaDieu, anchored the beam rotation with a rock solid routine and a score of 9.825.

When it comes to BYU, they have completed two meets thus far in the season. Much like the Southern Utah team, they showed some errors on the bars in their first meet of the season. But following that meet, they seem to have gotten all their beginning of the season jitters worked out. In week 2, the Cougars competed in their home opener and showed that they are a team with major potential, posting scores of at least 48.750 on each of the four events and ending with a team score of just over 196. If the Flipping Birds can improve upon their bars and beam rotations from last weekend, much like BYU following their first meet struggles, this meet should be a very close one. This meet will feature four of the five MRGC weekly honor winners from the past weekend. Make sure you watch out for Megan McBride on vault, Jill van Mierlo on beam, as well as Mackenzie Douglas and Shannon Hortman-Evans on the floor.

Rotation 1

BYU will begin on vault while Southern Utah heads to the bars

Abbey Miner (VT)- clean FTY, chest a bit low on the landing and a medium sized hop back. Otherwise good start for the Cougars. 9.675.

Madison McBride (UB)- Unique hop change to begin, proceeds to complete a beautifulll piked Jaeger. Ends the routine with a full-in dismount, chest a bit forward on the landing. 9.800. 

Shannon Hortman- Evans (VT)- huge height on the Yurchenko half, just a small step forward. 9.675.

Becky Rozsa (UB)- as a 5’9 gymnast her straddle Jaeger is so high and completed with such pretty lines. College stick to finish off her routine. 9.775.

Angel Zhong (VT)- little bit of leg separation on the RO but nearly sticks her FTY, chest a little low but great vault. She is also said to be working a Y1.5 in the gym, look for that maybe later in the season. 9.775.

Madison Howlett (UB)- beautiful handstands throughout, another full-in dismount for the flipping birds. But again a bit of a low chest on the landing. 9.750.

Avery Bennett (VT)- 10.0SV, competes a unique full on, tuck off. Just a small slide on landing. 9.800.

Kirstie Yee (UB)- falls on her hop change- piked Jaeger. Comes back to kill the rest of her routine. Sticks her DLO cold! 8.975.

Jill van Mierlo (VT)- cleanest FTY I have seen of the competition thus far. Has been working hard to reduce the amount she pikes down on the landing, and it shows! Nearly sticks her vault. 9.775.

Amber Heltemes (UB)- clean through the her straddle Jaeger-shootover combination. STICKS her DLO even though she’s a tinyy bit low on landing. Great effort! 9.700.

Mackenzie Douglas (VT)- 10.0SV Y1.5 in a tucked position. Some leg separation and a small step forward on landing but otherwise a strong finish for BYU. 9.800.

Hannah Nipp (UB)- off from the very start of her routine. Misses her hand on the blind change and comes off. Comes back strong to nearly stick her dismount.

EXHIBITION Abby Boden (VT)- Clean FTY tucked. Great exhibition vault for the freshman.

Southern Utah will have to count a fall on their first event, regardless, they showed four very strong bars routines and should be very proud of that. They end with a 48 flat on their first event. BYU finishes up on the vault with a 48.825. A respectable score for a lineup that includes two 10.0 SV vaults. BYU didn’t quite get the clean landings but once they do that shuld be a great scoring event for them.

Pictures from BYU’s first rotation.

Rotation 2

Southern Utah on vault, BYU on bars.

Megan McBride (VT)- chest low and a bit of a stutter step on her FTY. Solid start for the flipping birds. 9.725.

Jill van Mierlo (UB)- huge height and form on her straddle Jaeger. Bends her arms a bit on her shootover. STICKS her full-in, the full-in is very popular today! 9.700.

Madison McBride (VT)- nice FTY! Just a bit too much power, she has to take a decent size step back. 9.775.

Angel Zhong (UB)- highest straddle Jaeger of the competition so far today, competes it into a beautiful pak salto. DLO to finish off with a hop back. 9.700.

Autumn Jorgensen (VT)- great height and distance on her FTY. Just a small hop. 9.800.

Abby Boden (UB)- piked Jaeger as her release move, and finishes it beautifully just one teeny tiny step back on her full-in. 9.775.

Morgan Alfaro (VT)- another FTY with great distance from SUU. They really have beautiful vault technique, just not quite there with the landings yet. 9.775.

Natasha Marsh (UB)- her DLO is soooo high she basically finishes both flips before dropping below the height of the bar. SHE STICKS. 9.750.

Molly Jozwiakowski (VT)- 10.0SV a KAZ!! with a beautiful landing. A nice vault debut for the freshman. 9.750.

Brittni Hawes (UB)- the bars specialist has such incredible handstands and technique. Completely FLARES her DLO. 9.850.

SUU scratches Karen Gonzalez in the sixth spot of their vault lineup.

Hortman-Evans (UB)- Geinger to shootover connection completed with great height and form. and another STUCK DLO! 9.850.

EXHIBITION from Haley Pitou, missed the routine but sounds like she hit. Look for her to push her way into that lineup in the future.

Southern Utah scores a 48.825 on the vault. BYU with a 48.925 on the bars.

BYU is leading 97.750 to SUU’s 96.825 at the halfway point.

Rotation 3

Southern Utah moves to the floor, BYU will go to the beam.

Hannah Miller (BB)- starts with a BHS-LOSO and moves right into a front toss-split leap. Not even the smallest of wobbles. Gainer full of the side, STUCK cold. Beautiful leg form throughout, beam is starting strong for the Cougars. 9.750.

Karen Gonzalez (FX)- two foot stuck double tuck as her first pass. Moves right into her front lay-front full and now for some fun! Finishes with a rudi, doesn’t quite get it all the way around but very close. 9.850.

Brianna Pearson (BB)- clean through the side aerial, full turn, and BHS-LOSO-beat jump. Slight wobble on her split leap. Repeats her split jump and connects it into a a pretty ring jump. Dismounts a RO 1.5 with a big hop forward. 9.700.

Madison McBride (FX)- Chest a bit low on her opening double pike. She is having so much fun out there, great to watch. Major leg form issues on her front lay-front full, causes her to be low on the landing. Third pass is a HUGE double tuck, again chest down on the landing. 9.700. Career high.

Marsh (BB)- beat jump-front toss. Was supposed to be connected into another element and be her acro series. After she misses the connection she just busts out a stuck BHS-LOSO no big deal. Smallest of hops on the gainer full of the side. 9.775.

Molly Jozwiakowski (FX)- starts with a clean rudi-LOSO. Attempts a front 2/1 as her second pass and ultimately has to put her knees down. Ends with a 2.5 she is a beautiful twister. Should score highly when she cleans up that middle pass. 9.125.

Hortman-Evans (BB)- BHS-LOSO. Another front toss series. Very popular and beautifully executed from the BYU girls. Up until this week she was missing her leap combination, wasn’t aware of it until after their first meet of the season. Adds in that needed connection this week and sticks it. 9.800.

Autumn Jorgensen (FX)- sooo much height on her opening double pike. Beautiful form on her front lay-front full. Ends with a double tuck. To say the least…she definitely does NOT struggle with getting enough height on her passes to land in great upright positions. 9.850.

Boden (BB)- piked front toss-BHS and nails it! Wobbles ever so slightly on her full turn. SOOO pretty on her straddle 1/4. Ends with a RO 1.5 and steps back about an inch. SO CLOSE to a stick. Watch out for this freshman…she could be a real star! 9.775.

McKenna Burnside (FX)- double tuck to begin her routine. Her leaps are really high, beautiful, and exact. Really stands out. Front full-front lay with clean legs as her middle pass. Double pike to finish. 9.825.

van Mierlo (BB)- the senior will anchor the Cougars’ already solid beam rotation. Solid on her BHS-LOSO. Through her split leap-straddle quarter with great form. Wobbles significantly on the side aerial but refuses to come off that beam. 9.700.

Madison Loomis (FX)- the transfer from San Jose State to anchor. Begins with a slightly unusual front tuck through to double pike. A little bit of stutter step on her rudi. Chest really low on her ending double tuck. But she made it through and SUU will erase the fall they had earlier in the rotation. 9.525.

EXHIBITION on beam from freshman Abbey Miner. Solid. Could very well be in the lineup at some point.

48.750 on the floor for the Flipping Birds, even counting a 9.525. Meanwhile BYU tallied a 48.800 on the beam.

Scores through the third rotation:
1. BYU 146.550
2. SUU 145.575.

Rotation 4

BYU will finish off their meet on the floor, SUU will end on the beam.

Alyssa LaDieu (BB)- anchored beam last weekend, after a solid routine she is moved to the leadoff spot this week. BHS-LOSO. Side aerial-full dismount. Only small issue in the routine comes when she does her straddle 1/4 and lowers her chest a bit. Otherwise, solid as could be. 9.750.

Brianna Pearson (FX)- Starts the routine laying on the floor, kicking her feet. The crowd and her seem to love it from the getgo. WOW starts with a clean front 2/1. Middle pass is a rudi. She is such a clean twister. 9.850.

Kirsten Yee (BB)- looking to come back from her bars mistake at the beginning of the meet. Series is a front aerial-BHS swingdown. She is tall and it really makes that series memorable. Raises her leg and slightly wobbles on her front aerial. Dismounts a gainer pike off the end of the beam. Overall she redeems her self nicely. 9.625.

Jill van Mierlo (FX)- Starts with a clean and well executed double tuck. Rudi middle pass. Ends with a front lay-front full. Crowd loved this one too, it is getting VERY loud. Overall clean routine, a couple tiny leg form issues but likely won’t even be seen by the judges, they were that small. 9.850.

Gonzalez (BB)- BHS-LOSO with such pretty knees! Great height and extension on her straddle 1/4. (College) stick on her gainer full of the end of the beam. 9.750. Career high.

Miner (FX)- HUGEEEE DLO, commentators are saying it is the FIRST DLO in BYU history! Front full-front lay, legs are separated ever so slightly. Should be another high score for the Cougars. 9.800.

Mary Packham (BB)- BHS-LOSO so pretty and she makes it look completely effortless. Front aerial-full such a unique and fun dismount. The team LOVED it. 9.800. First routine she has competed at SUU.

Mackenzie Douglas (FX)- another opening “E” pass for the BYU team. This time a full-in. Front lay-front full a clean second and final pass. Now having lots of fun with her Pirates of the Caribbean music to finish out her routine. 9.875.

Jorgensen (BB)-  another stuck BHS-LOSO from the flipping birds. Looks like a completely different beam team from the opening meet. Punch front tuck. Landed with just a little bend in the knees. Dismounts an impressive double tuck off the end of the beam. 9.875.

Kyleigh Greenlief (FX)- Phantom of the Opera routine. Opens with a high double tuck. Front lay-front full with beautiful extension. Ends with a strong rudi just a little bit of leg form issues that can only really be seen in the slo-mo replay. 9.825.

Madison McBride (BB)- wobbles a bit on her front toss. Picks her routine right back up. Saves her BHS-LOSO for nearly the end of her routine and competes it with such ease. Fun and beautifully completed handstand into her back full of the beam.

Hortman-Evans (FX)- her double pike is so huge that she hops right out of bounds. Comes back with a strong double tuck middle pass. Front full-front lay to end her routine. Seems like a real crowd favorite. 9.625.

EXHIBITIONS: Hannah Nipp for SUU on the beam and Abby Boden on the floor for BYU. Boden, the freshman, unofficially made her AA debut in this meet. Was in the bars/beam lineups. Competed exhibition routines on vault/floor.

BYU gets an impressive 49.200 on the floor. SUU ends with a 48.900.

Final standings:
1. BYU: 195.750
2. SUU: 194.475.


Both teams switched up their lineups a bit this weekend, seems to have worked out nicely for both of them. SUU looks much improved from last weekend, though they did have to count a fall on bars. Beam was much improved from last weekend where they counted no scores below a 9.725.

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