No. 22 Bronco Gymnastics Topples No. 20 Arizona State and No. 21 Penn State

TEMPE, Ariz. The No. 22 Boise State gymnastics team knew they faced a big challenge on Friday night going up against No. 20 Arizona State and No. 21 Penn State at ASU’s Well Fargo Arena. The Broncos overcame that challenge with ease, winning over both teams and posting a team score of 196.00, a mark that ties for the ninth best team score in Boise State history. The Broncos crushed their competition, finishing well ahead of second place Penn State who posted a 195.050 and host Arizona State who finished third with 194.550.

Boise State was able to capture the team title after earning outright wins on vault and uneven bars, tying with the Nittany Lions for first on floor exercise, and placing second on balance beam behind the Sun Devils.

"I am really proud of this team; they believe in their talent and work ethic," said co-head coach Tina Bird. "We (the team) dedicated this meet to our senior associate athletic director, Lisa Parker. We went into the meet really proud to be representing Boise State and Lisa, and that kept us focused against the tough competition. It was a great win for us."

The Broncos opened in their first rotation on bars, launching themselves into the lead after the first rotation and never once dropped the lead from there on. The Broncos got out to an outstanding start, posting their third highest score on bars this season, a 49.025, just .10 off of their season high. Leading the competition was senior Lindsay Ward who picked up her fifth win this season in the event; a number good to tie her for No. 4 in the Boise State all-time season high wins category. Ward also improved her Boise State leading all-time career wins mark to 17 while matching her career best mark of 9.925. Adding the cherry on top, Ward’s score also puts her in a tie for seventh place in the BSU record books for all-time top scores on bars. Always a key performer on bars for the Broncos, redshirt sophomore Taylor Jacob picked up the second place honors in the competition posting a mark of 9.875, a mark just off of her personal best. Freshman Hannah Redmon nearly had a personal best as well, scoring a 9.825 to tie for fifth place. Freshman Mallory Dziawura placed tenth overall with a 9.725, junior Amber Neroes tied for 12th with a 9.675, and freshman Cassie Tycast set a career best of 9.600 to place 14th on bars.

In their second rotation the Broncos faced the balance beam, their toughest event this season. Showing no signs of difficulty on beam Friday night, the Broncos posted their third highest score on beam this season with a 48.90, a mark only .150 off their season best. Leading the Broncos was freshman Kelsey Lang who posted a career best mark of 9.825 to finish in a tie for second place. Freshman Amy Glass also came through placing in a tie for fifth with a 9.80 while Ward tied for seventh with a 9.775. Jacob joined Redmon in a three-way tie for tenth with a mark of 9.750, a new career best for Redmon. Redshirt freshman Sarah Smith rounded out the Bronco corps on beam placing 17th with a 9.550.

Competing on floor for their third rotation the Broncos continued to hold the lead in team scoring after posting a solid 48.950 in the event. The team score marked the fourth highest the Broncos have posted this season. A Bronco who has been consistently improving on floor, Smith, proved her strength in the event when she set a new career best of 9.90 to place second overall on the night. Redmon finished just behind her best marks this season with a 9.850, good for third place while Glass finished in a three-way tie for fourth with a career best of 9.825. Sophomore Yvette Leizorek scored a 9.725 to place ninth overall. Posting uncharacteristically low marks, Lang scored a 9.650 while Jacob a 9.475 to place 14th and 16th, respectively.

Fighting off tough competition which was closing in on the team lead the Broncos knew they had to perform well in their final rotation. Boise State rose to the challenge scoring their second best performance on vault this season of 49.125, a mark which ties for the fourth best mark in Boise State history in the event. Redmon led the Broncos in the event scoring 9.90 and tying her career best mark to earn a second place finish. Glass and Ward shared a score of 9.850 to finish in a three-way tie for third with Glass setting a new career best and Ward setting a new season best in the event. Another rock in the Boise State line-up, junior Shaniece Craft posted a 9.825, a mark just under her season best, finishing in seventh. Leizorek finished in a tie for tenth with a mark of 9.700 while Neroes finished in a tie for 15th with a 9.650.

In the all-around competition, Redmon earned her third win this season posting a career best of 39.325 to tie with PSU’s Brandi Personett for the win. Redmon’s bettered her mark by .200 on Friday.

Arizona State posted marks of 48.925 on vault, 48.125 on bars, 48.975 on beam, and 48.525 on floor to place third overall. Penn State was able to post marks of 48.675 on vault, 48.700 on bars, 48.725 on beam, and 48.950 on floor to place second behind the Broncos.

The Broncos will compete in two more regular season meets, one on the road and one at home, before hosting the Western Athletic Conference Championships on March 29. Boise State will continue its season on the road next week when they travel to Corvallis, Oregon to take on West Region opponent No. 7 Oregon State, WAC opponent Sacramento State, as well as the University of Missouri. The meet is scheduled for a 5 p.m. (MT) start.

» «