Boise State Gymnastics Captures First-Ever WAC Championship Title

BOISE, Idaho The Boise State women’s gymnastics team proved they were the best of the Western Athletic Conference on Saturday night, capturing their first ever WAC Team Championship. The Broncos were able to fight off tough competition from all five teams to pull out a very close, but exhilarating win with a score of 194.925. Thanks to wins on three of the four events Boise State was able to hold off second place San Jose State who scored a 194.725. Southern Utah University posted a 194.575 for third, Sacramento State a 194.275 for fourth, Utah State with a 194.150 for fifth and Cal State Fullerton with a 192.650 for an extremely tight race to the finish.

The Broncos proved they have come a long way since their 2007 season when they finished sixth out of the six teams at the WAC Championships.

“It’s beyond our expectations [to win the championship title],” said co-head coach Neil Resnick. “It was such an experience to watch the team come from worst to first.”

Boise State was led by 2008 WAC Athlete-of-the-Year and Freshman-of-the-Year Hannah Redmon who also captured wins on vault, floor and in the all-around, however a solid backing of support from her teammates helped to earn the team title.

“Their hard work in the off season really paid off and it showed tonight. This is the reason why you coach, to watch all of this come together,” explained Resnick with a grin.

Resnick and co-head coach Tina Bird were able to join Redmon on the awards stand, earning the 2008 WAC Co-Head Coaches-of-the-Year honor. Saturday’s competition marks the first time one school has earned the WAC Freshman-of-the-Year, Athlete-of-the-Year, and Coach-of-the-Year awards in one season as well as the first time an athlete has earned both the Freshman and Athlete-of-the-Year awards in the same meet.

The Broncos scored a 49.20 on floor as a team, their second highest of the season, helping to clinch the team victory in the event. Redmon started the Broncos out right on floor exercise in their first rotation, tying for first with a career best of 9.925 with Utah State’s Megan Tschida. Emily Stebbins of San Jose State took third with a 9.90 while Boise State’s Sarah Smith helped the Broncos win with a tie for fourth place with a near career best of 9.875. Kelsey Lang also scored a near career high as well with a 9.825 good for a four-way tie for ninth. The third Bronco to score just .25 under her career best, Amy Glass posted a 9.80 to tie for 13th. Sophomore Yvette Leizorek had a solid routine to score a 9.775 and tie for 18th while Taylor Jacob rounded out the Bronco lineup with a 9.40 to place 29th.

Moving to vault, the Broncos produced another solid score of 48.975 in their second rotation, their fourth best mark on vault this season. The team was again led by Redmon who won the outright vault title with a 9.875. Boise State’s next highest finish was senior Lindsay Ward who tied for sixth with a 9.80. Amber Neroes and Glass had strong performances, posting a score of 9.775 to finish in a seven-way tie for tenth. Junior Shaniece Craft notched a 9.750 mark to tie for 17th while Ruthie Pennington also had a good competition with a 9.70, good for 24th.

After a bye in the third rotation, Boise State moved to bars in the fourth, picking up their third team event win with a 48.925. This time senior Lindsay Ward led the Broncos winning the title with a 9.875. Redmon came in second with a 9.80 to tie with Kellie Dangerfield of Southern Utah for the placing. Posting a near best, Neroes scored a 9.775 to finish in a four-way tie for fourth while freshman Mallory Dziawura tied for eighth with a score of 9.750. Freshman Cassie Tycast also posted a good routine, scoring a 9.725 to tie for 11th. Jacob rounded out the lineup with a 9.275 after an unfortunate mistake after an outstanding routine which she nearly completed.

Heading into their fifth and final rotation, the Broncos had what looked to be a solid lead on the competition, however wobbles and falls seemed to become the Achilles heal of the lineup and threatened their team title. Glass earned the top finish for the Broncos, taking ninth with a 9.775. Smith posted a 9.650 to place 18th while Redmon scored a 9.625 for 21st. Jacob earned a 9.50 to finish 27th while Ward, who was the final competitor in the lineup for Boise State, counted a fall to score a 9.275 and place 28th. Kelsey Lang also counted a fall for a 9.050 and 34th place finish, but was the sixth finisher in the Broncos’ lineup and did not score points.

With all four events under their belts, all the Broncos could do was sit and wait for the sixth and final rotation to be completed to know where they ended up in the team standings. San Jose State had a strong showing on vault, scoring a 48.925 to nearly catch the Broncos. Southern Utah University also looked to be a threat competing on floor, a strong event for the Thunderbirds. However, SUU also counted two poor scores due to falls and boundary violations which saved the Broncos from losing the top spot.

Redmon also earned the 2008 WAC All-Around champion title when she outscored her closest opponent by .225, scoring a near season best of 39.225. 

Now the Broncos await the Monday afternoon announcement by the NCAA as to where they will be heading to compete in the NCAA Regional Championships. They will likely remain in the No. 16 spot of the NCAA National rankings, putting them as a No. 2 or 3 seed in a regional meet, depending on where they go. More information on their regional berth will be available on Monday afternoon.

2008 Honors WAC Gymnast of the Year: Hannah Redmon, Boise State WAC Freshman of the Year: Hannah Redmon, Boise State WAC Co-Coaches of the Year: Neil Resnick and Tina Bird, Boise State     First Team All-WAC Honors Vault Hannah Redmon, Boise State, 9.875 Veronica Porte, San Jose State, 9.850 Shannon Coughlin, Southern Utah, 9.850   Bars Lindsay Ward, Boise State, 9.875 Hannah Redmon, Boise State, 9.800 Kellie Dangerfield,  Southern Utah, 9.800   Beam Kellie Dangerfield, Southern Utah, 9.875 Melissa Genovese, Sacramento State, 9.850 Shannon Coughlin,  Southern Utah, 9.825 Ari Lamb, Southern Utah, 9.825 Heather Heinrich, Utah State, 9.825     Floor Hannah Redmon, Boise State, 9.925 Megan Tschida, Utah State, 9.925 Emily Stebbins, San Jose State, 9.900     All-Around Hannah Redmon, Boise State, 39.225 Jenna Vogt, Southern Utah, 39.000 Melissa Genovese, Sacramento State, 38.975     Second Team All-WAC Honors Vault Maddie Steinauer, Cal State Fullerton, 9.825 Alycia Chan, Sacramento State, 9.825 Lindsay Ward, Boise State, 9.800 Shelly Cooper, Cal State Fullerton, 9.800 Shanice Howard, San Jose State, 9.800 Jasmine Minion, Utah State, 9.800  
Bars Amber Neroes, Boise State, 9.775 Renae Moneymaker, San Jose State, 9.775 Erin Morgan, Southern Utah, 9.775 Nicole Simoneau, Utah State, 9.775  
Beam Jessica Tait, Cal State Fullerton, 9.800 Veronica Porte, San Jose State, 9.800 Nikki Felley, Utah State, 9.800
  Floor Sarah Smith, Boise State, 9.875 Alaina Baker, Cal State Fullerton, 9.875 Alycia Chan, Sacramento State, 9.850 Shanice Howard, San Jose State, 9.850 Shannon Coughlin, Southern Utah, 9.850  
All-Around Elise Wheeler, Southern Utah, 38.950 Nikki Felley, Utah State, 38.925 Alaina Baker, Cal State Fullerton, 38.900


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