2009 Boise State Gymnastics Preview

Coming off one of their most successful seasons in the history of Boise State gymnastics, the 2009 Bronco squad will be looking to raise the bar. Earning a No. 19 NCAA preseason coaches poll spot, the Broncos have also been chosen as the Western Athletic Conference favorite finishing one vote ahead of Southern Utah. With the return of 19 gymnasts, including 11 who were continually in the 2008 line-ups, the Broncos return depth, talent and experience to their 2009 team. Losing only one from the 2008 line-ups to graduation, the Broncos will be just as strong or stronger and will welcome the talent of three newcomers to the squad.


The Seniors...

Four experienced veterans lead the Broncos this year and will compete in their final season wearing the blue and orange.


Shaniece Craft has been a solid vault competitor for the Broncos for the past three seasons and looks to be no different entering her final season. One of Boise State’s top vaulters, Craft boasts a career high of 9.875 and enters the season as part of the backbone to the vault line-up. A real leader on the team as well, Craft could step into a new role this season by possibly cracking into the bar line-up.


A bar specialist, Ashli Rainboth will likely be a consistent contributor. After upgrading her difficulty over the summer, she now has one of the most difficult dismount combinations in the gym. Along with difficult skills, Rainboth brings flawless technique and beautiful lines to each of her routines.


After working hard in the off-season to recover from injury, co-captain Amber Neroes will continue to bring her outstanding vault abilities to the 2009 line-up. A strong gymnast with great competitiveness, she boasts a career high of 9.850 and she will hope to continue to strengthen and return on beam and bars as well.


Courtney Achter brings hard work and determination to every practice. As a floor competitor, she has acquired a career high of 9.70 in the event. A model student-athlete, Achter adds a 4.0 grade-point average as well as community involvement and services to her resume’.


The Juniors...

A three-event competitor, Taylor Jacob will bring unfailing depth and experience on bars, beam and floor in 2009. Jacob boasts a career high of 9.90 on bars and her dynamic skills will make her the top returner on the event this season. A staple in the beam line-up, she was the only Bronco to never count a fall during the 2008 season and holds a career high of 9.90 on beam. The Broncos expect to see Jacob compete on floor this season as well after posting a 9.80 last season, just .05 short of her career best.


One of the most elegant and dynamic gymnasts on the roster, Yvette Leizorek will also compete as a three-event athlete. After training hard over the summer, Leizorek has improved her technique on vault, bars and floor. Her dedication in the gym should lead to consistent performances this season as well as exciting performances thanks to upgrading difficulty on floor. A solid competitor in all three events, she has posted career bests of 9.825 on vault and bars and a 9.850 on floor.


After upgrading her vault difficulty to a 10.0 start value, Ruthie Pennington will bring depth to the line-up in 2009. Her vault, consisting of a handspring front pike half, has the coaches really excited about her progress and possibilities. Pennington has also added a spunky new floor routine with exciting tumbling that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. She holds career highs of 9.80 on vault and 9.850 on floor.


Raquel Turnbow adds even more depth to a strong vault team after learning a Yurchenko layout full this summer, bringing her start value to a 10.0. With this new start value, Turnbow is sure to amaze fans with her dynamics and improve her career best of 9.650 in the event.


Spending her third year with the Broncos, Katie Tuller enters only her second year of competition after redshirting the 2008 season. One of the hardest working Broncos in the gym, she has improved her technique and is expected to top her career best of a 9.775 on bars this season.


The Sophomores...

The 2009 Bronco gymnastics sophomore class will strive to maintain their goal of becoming four-time Western Athletic Conference champions, a goal they set as freshmen. After winning the 2008 WAC championship, the sophomore class will look to defend its title this March at the 2009 WAC Championships.


The 2008 WAC Gymnast of the Year and 2008 WAC Freshman of the Year Hannah Redmon enters the 2009 season fully loaded. This season’s co-captain, Redmon has put in hard work over the summer and is working to upgrade her already incredible difficulty on multiple events. Posting career highs of 9.90 on vault, 9.875 on bars, 9.750 on beam, 9.925 on floor and a 39.375 all-around score as well as jumping deep into the Boise State record books as a freshman, Redmon will likely achieve another record breaking-season in 2009.


A team leader in 2008, Amy Glass is proving to be a force to reckon with in the WAC again this season. A solid competitor on multiple events last season, Glass produced career highs of 9.850 on vault and bars, 9.875 on beam, 9.825 on floor and 39.350 in the all-around. After upgrading her difficulty on bars, she will become a true all-around athlete. Glass possesses unique difficulty and skills on beam and will add a funky new floor routine with sky-high tumbling that is sure to make her a standout on floor. She is expected to consistently contribute on vault as well.


Mallory Dziawura holds show-stopping talent on the balance beam and her difficulty could stand up to anyone in the country. Her beam series, consisting of a one-arm-back handspring into two layouts, will make her a leader for the beam team. Dziawura will also add depth to the bar line-up, incorporating her gorgeous lines, toe point and technique, likely making bars her strongest event for the second straight season.


A gymnast who has a passion for gymnastics that shows in every workout, Kelsey Lang will be another solid point in the Bronco line-up. Lang is consistently leading by example and has a smile that is contagious. Her “surfer” routine on floor is one of the most entertaining Bronco routines and her unique beam combinations will likely earn her a spot in the line-up. She posted career highs of 9.850 on floor, 9.825 on beam and 9.775 on vault in 2008. She has upgraded her vault difficulty and has a chance to compete the event again this season.


An excellent student-athlete, Cassie Tycast specializes on bars and beam and is extremely consistent. She performs with clean, beautiful lines and does graceful, elegant gymnastics. After posting career bests of 9.825 on bars and 9.775 on beam, Tycast will add depth to both line-ups in 2009.


One of the top floor competitors for the Broncos in 2008, Sarah Smith brings aggressive and dynamic performances on beam and floor. Holding a career high of 9.90 on floor as a freshman, Smith has been training a full-in tumbling pass that will jazz up her floor routine. Smith has a 9.825 career best on beam and looks to be even more competitive in the event this season after putting in hard work this summer.


Amanda Burnett is an academic leader for the Broncos who also works hard in the gym on a daily basis. She is continually working to crack into the vault line-up. Labeled a “goofball” by the coaches, she brings the fun into each and every practice.


One of the most improved Broncos after summer workouts; Heather Hitch is a gymnast who always gives 100 percent. She is diligent in drills and in practices making her an athlete the coaches would not be surprised to see gain some competition experience on the floor this season.


Redshirt freshmen, Morgan LaRoque and Chelsee Apple share a similar story, both returning from knee surgeries in 2008. The pair has been committed to their return to the gym and have been putting in extra time and work on bars. LaRoque has added a major release in a back-to-back sequence with a second release, making her difficulty one of the highest on the Bronco squad. Showing improvement in her workouts as well, the coaches expect Apple will add depth to the bar team and hope she breaks into the vault line-up.   


The Freshmen...

Another all-arounder on the Bronco roster, Lindsay Kazandjian has impressed the Bronco coaches in every way since her arrival on campus. A hard worker in the gym day-in and day-out, Kazandjian has an even-keeled temperament that is reflected in her gymnastics. She is sure to be a crowd pleaser on the beam and floor with her exciting skills and engaging smile, as well as with her exciting vault and bars skills.


Fiona Leslie is a spunky gymnast from New York who adds spice to every workout. An exciting gymnast to watch, Leslie is a really punchy and a great bar swinger. The coaches expect to see her compete on bars, beam and floor in her inaugural season with the Broncos.


An extremely hard worker, Cristy Dahlquist brings talent and is a beautiful dancer. The coaches believe she is doing all she can to prepare for the beam and floor line-ups this season and they wouldn’t be surprised to see her develop into a bar competitor in the future.



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