2010 Boise State Gymnastics Season Outlook

Returning as back-to-back Western Athletic Conference Champions, the 2010 Boise State gymnastics team is aiming for loftier goals this season. Not only do they return 14 gymnasts from the 2009 season, but they add four outstanding freshmen into the mix as well.

After posting their highest finish in school history at an NCAA Regional meet last season (third place), the Broncos have put in extra time during the off-season to push themselves even further for the 2010 season.

"We have some super talented athletes," said co-head coach Tina Bird. "They will be helping to catapult the team into the top-12 this season. We are just so excited of the potential of this team. The entire team stayed three months over the summer and everyone got better. They improved on things and we fixed the stuff that will impact the team score in the long run. We were ranked No. 19 in the pre-season coaches' poll, but we hope to surprise people and move up higher than that!"

Not only has the team been working hard in the gym during the off-season and summer months, but they have worked closely with strength and conditioning coach Jeff Jones to increase their fitness levels for the season.

"The work that the girls have done with coach Jones has brought them to a completely new level of fitness," explained Bird. "Pairing that with the progressive work that our trainer Keita Shimada does helps our girls prevent injuries or return to the gym more quickly after injuries."

Alongside of their excellent fitness, the Broncos' upperclassman will look to bring the team to a whole new level this season.


SENIORS
"Our seniors will definitely lead the team with their experience this season," said Bird.

Taylor Jacob, Yvette Leizorek and Raquel Turnbow hope to close out their careers with a very successful season. The trio of seniors will be key competitors in all four line-ups for the Broncos this season.

Jacob returns to floor this season after competing primarily on bars and beam during the 2009 season.

"Taylor is back and stronger than ever with her phenomenal bar routine, solid beam and dynamic floor," said Bird. "She has added difficulty to her bar dismount and is as consistent as ever."

Leizorek will continue to add stability on floor, as well as on vault this season. She will also look to become a three-event athlete by adding bars to her resume'.

"Yvette is returning with a strong vault and elegant floor routine this season," said Bird. "She also hopes to make a showing in the bar line-up."

Turnbow returns to the team as a vault specialist, looking to make a solid impact on the line-up this season.

Bird said, "Raquel is entering the season strong and hopes to be a consistent force in the vault line-up."


JUNIORS
Joining the seniors as the leaders of the team, the junior class has been setting the goals higher each season since they arrived at Boise State.

"The junior class is the heart of the team," explained Bird. "They are the leaders. They have set the bar pretty high with their work ethic, great attitudes and high skill level."

Leading the junior class is Hannah Redmon and Kelsey Lang who earned the titles of co-captains of the 2010 squad. They were voted for the leadership role by their teammates.

After taking a season away from the all-around, Redmon looks to be healthy enough again to compete on all four events this season.

"Hannah is just such a natural leader in and out of the gym," said Bird. "Her hard work in the off-season and added difficulty on all four events will make her a definite threat for the WAC Athlete of the Year again this season. She has set her goals very high!"

Lang returns to the team as the reigning WAC Champion on balance beam and looks to continue her consistency on the event.

"Kelsey is a great leader in the gym in the fact that she is always smiling and working hard," said Bird. "She not only is starting the season where she left off last year, but she has upgraded her difficulty on all of her events. We expect her to come back and defend her championship title this season."

Three other juniors help comprise a solid class, including Sarah Smith, Mallory Dziawura and Katie Tuller.

 Smith has earned her way from a walk-on to scholarship athlete this season, after producing two solid seasons as an underclassman. She will continue to be a solid force for the Broncos on beam and floor this season.

"Sarah's technique has improved over the summer, which will make her one of our most solid athletes on beam," explained Bird. "She has upgraded her floor tumbling and has a spunky new routine that is sure to please the crowd. She has also added vault for the first time and is working on her 10.0 start value which will help the team this season."

Dziawura returns as a top competitor on bars and beam for the Broncos.

"Mallory is our bars and beam stud," exclaimed Bird. "She has beautiful lines on both events and we will be looking to her for some solid routines. She has also been training on floor and could break into that line-up as well."

Tuller returns to the Broncos as a bars specialist after earning an All-WAC Second Team nod on the event last season.

"Katie trained all summer and is ready to be a consistent powerhouse on bars for us this season," said Bird. "She has upgraded her bar difficulty and continues to work harder than anyone that we (the coaches) have seen. She also started training on vault this summer, so we wouldn't be surprised to see her in the line-up for that this season too."


SOPHOMORES
The sophomore class returns with five athletes this season, including Amy Glass, Chelsee Apple, Lindsay Kazandjian, Fiona Leslie and Cristy Dahlquist.

"The sophomores are an amazing mix of talent, personality and hard work," said Bird.

Glass returns to the team after suffering a season-ending neck injury early in the 2009 season. She will return as an all-around gymnast after proving to be one of the top competitors in the event as a freshman.

"Amy's return is such a gift to the team," explained Bird. "Her heart and drive throughout her recovery has been inspirational to the team and to the coaches. Her comeback story is unbelievable, unheard of and inspiring; it grounds everyone on the team. They think of what she had to go through to comeback and it makes everyone try their hardest every day. She is an amazing gymnast who will bring the team to a new level this season. She has been training hard and is returning stronger than she was last season. She has added difficulty to all four events and will compete in the all-around again."

Apple returns as one of the team's top vault competitors, after finishing the season as the highest nationally ranked Bronco on the event (No. 35).

"Chelsee is back with her huge vault that scored well in the past for the Broncos," explained Bird. "She has been working on sticking her landing and is hoping to set some records this year."

Kazandjian returns as primarily a bars and beam competitor, but could see time in the all-around for the second straight season. She earned three wins on beam as a freshman and was named All-WAC Second Team on the event.

"Lindsay has added difficulty to her bar routine with a new release combo and new dismount," said Bird. "She will make an impact on bars, as well as, continue her success on beam."

Leslie returns on bars, beam and floor for her second season with the Broncos.

"Fiona continues to show strength on bars and beam," said Bird. "She also has a new, fun floor routine to 'Madonna'."

Dahlquist returns to the team as a beam and floor specialist after competing primarily on beam as a freshman.

"Cristy has worked hard all summer and hopes to make the line-ups on both beam and floor this season," said Bird.


FRESHMEN
The Broncos welcome four new freshmen to the 2010 squad, including Hailey Gaspar, Brittany Potvin-Green, Lacee Lang and Erin Wippermann.

"The freshmen have jumped right into our intense training this season without missing a beat," said Bird. "The rest of the team was here voluntarily throughout the summer, so the freshmen had to join in to an even better Bronco squad and they've done a great job adjusting this fall."

Gaspar will join the Broncos as a likely competitor on vault, beam and floor.

"Hailey is an exciting performer with huge tumbling and a big, dynamic vault," explained Bird. "She is also consistent on beam and will contribute on all three events. She's sure to be a crowd favorite."

Potvin-Green joins the team as an all-around competitor who has a great finesse to her gymnastics.

"Brittany is so strong," said Bird. "Anything is possible with her gymnastics. Her floor routine will definitely be a crowd favorite."

Lang will aid the Broncos mainly on beam this season, but could make her mark on bars and floor as well.

"Lacee has trained under Neil and Patty (Resnick) when she was younger in her club career," explained Bird. "That will help her adjust here at Boise State. We think she'll be a surprise this year. She is very strong on beam, but could compete on bars and floor as well."

Wippermann will join the Bronco squad for 2010, but will not compete this season due to an injury she sustained last season.

"Erin was injured last season, but has been working really hard and is coming back strong this fall," said Bird. "She will impact us greatly next season."

Another member of the team is junior Cassie Tycast. Unfortunately, she will not be competing for the second straight season as she recovers from surgery. Tycast will be studying abroad during the 2010 spring semester and hopes to return to the Bronco squad in good health for the fall of 2010.


SCHEDULE
The 18-member Bronco squad holds a 10-meet schedule under their belts for the 2010 season. They will face 10 different opponents in their 10 meets, but will see Sacramento State, Utah State, BYU and San Jose State two-times each in the regular season. Their tenth slated meet will be the 2010 WAC Gymnastics Championships held in Fullerton, Calif., on Mar. 27. Additional meets such as the NCAA Regionals or NCAA Nationals could be added to the Broncos' schedule, depending on their qualifying marks.

The team has seven away or neutral meets during the season, while hosting only three meets at home. Their first home meet will be a dual with Sacramento State on Feb. 12, which will also be the "Beauty and the Beast" meet. Their second home meet comes on Mar. 5 when they host BYU and Utah State followed by the Mar. 19 meet against San Jose State which will be the "Senior Day" meet.

Out of the 10 opponents they face in the regular season, six were ranked in the nation's final 2009 top-40, including WAC opponents San Jose State, Southern Utah and Sacramento State. In the 2010 pre-season coaches' poll Denver ranks the highest with a No. 17 spot, while Boise State is just behind at No. 19. San Jose State and Southern Utah are the only other teams the Broncos face this season that were mentioned in the pre-season poll, both making it in the "Others Receiving Votes" category.

The Broncos look to repeat as WAC Champions in 2010, as well as, improve on their third-place finish at the NCAA West Regional in 2009, hoping to qualify as a team to the NCAA National Championship meet.


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