The BYU women’s gymnastics team’s season came to an end Saturday when it finished sixth in the Denver Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championship regional with a score of 194.650.
The Cougars entered the regional seeded fifth out of the six teams competing, with a season record of 12-7-2. The Cougars were looking to place in the top two to reach their goal of attending nationals. Arkansas and Florida captured the top two spots, with scores of 196.550 and 196.425, respectively, to advance to the NCAA Championships in Cleveland on April 15-17.
BYU started the meet with a solid performance on vault, an event that junior Krysten Koval said the Cougars were lucky to start on.
Junior Natalie Eyre paved the way for the Cougars on vault, posting a 9.850. The score gave Eyre a fifth-place finish in the event. Scoring just behind Eyre was sophomore Haylee Rollins and freshman KayCee Gassaway, who each recorded a solid 9.800.
After the first rotation, BYU stood in a promising third place, trailing only Florida and Boise State.
The Cougars slipped into fifth place after competing on the uneven bars, BYU’s second rotation. Rollins scored a consistent and team-high 9.800 on the event. Freshman Raquel Willman followed with a 9.775.
The third rotation, the balance beam, did not fare as well for BYU as the first event of the meet. Only two Cougars received scores above 9.700. Showing that the future of the team is in good hands, another freshman, Megan Bain, stepped up and received the highest Cougar score on the balance beam, a 9.750. Koval wrapped up the frustrating rotation on a more positive note with a 9.725, giving the Cougars momentum as they entered their fourth and final rotation of the meet.
BYU finished the meet on the floor exercise, where the Cougars were able to regain confidence and finish with a solid performance. Senior Jessica Villegas, in the final meet of her BYU career, led the Cougars with a 9.800. Bain, Willman and junior Mickell Merrell each received a 9.775.