No. 12 Broncos Sensational in Near Upset
Feb. 24, 2017

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- No. 12 Boise State (7-4, 3-0 MRGC) was close the entire night against No. 4 Alabama, but the Broncos came up just short and fell to the Crimson Tide 196.925 -- 196.675 on Friday night in Tuscaloosa. Boise State put forth an inspiring performance in front of a packed crowd in Coleman Coliseum, picking up significant scores from across the lineup.

On a night where the Broncos hit 100 percent of their routines, the success was encapsulated by juniors Alex Esmerian and Abby Webb -- both of which were competing in just the second meet of their careers. Esmerian won the balance beam title with a 9.925 and Webb was tops on floor for Boise State with a 9.875. Mackenzie Bennion shared the uneven bars title with a 9.875. Shani Remme -- competing as the lone all-arounder -- won the AA with a 39.375

The Blue and Orange ended the night on balance beam and posted their highest score of the season on the apparatus, a 49.300. The 49.300 is tied for the sixth-highest beam score in school history.

"Unbelievable night for us," co-head coach Tina Bird said. "Best beam set of the year. The depth we have is so exciting because our sport is truly a team effort. So proud of our junior class for stepping up tonight."

With regular contributors Sarah Means, Sandra Collantes and Courtney McGregor competing in limited action on Friday, Boise State used timely performances from several different gymnasts to secure another great road score.

"It's hard to describe how much adversity we overcame tonight," co-head coach Neil Resnick said. "Our entire team came through on a big stage."

Boise State started on uneven bars and began the meet with a 49.125. Ann Stockwell posted a 9.8 in the opening routine and Bennion followed with a 9.875 -- tying a season high. McGregor came up with a 9.775, Remme recorded a 9.825 and Diana Mejia was good for a 9.85 to give the visitors a strong opening event.

The Broncos moved to vault in the second rotation and ended with another 49.125. Bennion and Paige Urquhart (competing on vault for the first time this season) both scored 9.775s, and the remaining four gymnasts were able to post a 9.8 or better. Stockwell came up with a 9.8, Remme was solid with a 9.825, Mary Frances Bir improved upon her season RQS with a 9.85, and McGregor was sensational for a season-high 9.875.

Alabama held a slim 98.375 -- 98.250 lead at the halfway point.

Boise State kept it consistent and posted its third-straight 49.125 event score on the third rotation -- floor. Urquhart started off with a 9.8 and Remme excelled for a 9.85. After Bennion's 9.775 and Stockwell's 9.825, Webb came through in the No. 5 spot with her 9.875 and secured the 49.125. After Webb hit, Boise State chose not to compete a sixth on floor.

Balance beam brought about a positive upgrade in the event scores with a 49.300 on the fourth and final apparatus. Competing with just five gymnasts again, Mejia calmly opened up with a 9.85 and Urquhart followed up with a 9.775. Remme and Means were sensational in earning 9.875s, and Esmerian was near perfect on her 9.925.

The Broncos will return to Taco Bell Arena and host Utah State on Thursday, March 2 at 7 p.m. The meet will be the team's annual Pink Meet to promote cancer awareness.


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