Bronco Gymnasts to Face Seven of the Nation's Best at 2009 Cancun Classic


The Boise State gymnastics team will kick-off the New Year and their 2009 season in Cancun, Mexico where they will be taking on seven of the nation’s top-30 teams at the 2009 Cancun Gymnastics Classic. The eight-team competition will take place on Friday, Jan. 2 with the national coaches’ preseason poll No. 19 pick Boise State Broncos competing in the first of two sessions.


Boise State will compete simultaneously with No. 7 Louisiana State University, No. 8 Michigan and No. 29 North Carolina in the first session scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. In the second session, No. 5 Stanford, No. 9 Oregon State, No. 14 Denver and No. 29 Brigham Young University will compete in head-to-head competition (scheduled for a 6:15 p.m. start).


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The Boise State Broncos open up their 2009 season at the Cancun Classic. The meet will be the first of 11 guaranteed meets for the Broncos this season.


The Broncos welcome back nearly every gymnast from the 2008 season, with 10 of the 16 headed to Cancun serving as major contributors to the team score last season. In 2008, the Broncos averaged a 194.995 team score with their highest team score coming at Oregon State’s Salbasgeon Suites Invitational (196.575). The team also hit season-highs of 49.200 on vault, 49.200 on bars, 49.050 on beam and 49.225 on floor during the 2008 season.


Welcoming back a handful of outstanding gymnasts, Boise State’s Hannah Redmon will likely repeat as a competition leader after earning the 2008 Western Athletic Conference Gymnast of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors as well as First Team All-WAC on vault, bars, floor and all-around. Redmon was also a five-time winner of the WAC Gymnast of the Week title in 2008. Taylor Jacob and Amy Glass also earned WAC Gymnast of the Week honors for the Broncos last season while Sarah Smith is the only other returner traveling to Cancun who earned All-WAC honors making the second team on floor exercise.


Broncos who were regulars in the 2008 lineups include: Redmon, Jacob, Glass, Smith, Shaniece Craft, Mallory Dziawura, Kelsey Lang, Yvette Leizorek, Ruthie Pennington and Cassie Tycast.



Sixteen Broncos will be making the trip to Cancun:

Chelsee Apple (R-Fr., Las Vegas), Shaniece Craft (Sr., Littleton, Colo.), Mallory Dziawura (So., Phoenix, Ariz.), Amy Glass (So., Vacaville, Calif.), Taylor Jacob (R-Jr., Whittier, Calif.), Lindsay Kazandjian (Fr., Las Vegas), Kelsey Lang (So., Langley, British Columbia), Yvette Leizorek (Jr., Palm Spring, Calif.), Fiona Leslie (Fr., New York City), Ruthie Pennington (Jr., Dallas, Ore.), Ashli Rainboth (Sr., Nampa, Idaho), Hannah Redmon (So., Sparks, Nev.), Sarah Smith (So., Bakersfield, Calif.), Katie Tuller (R-So., Las Vegas), Raquel Turnbow (Jr., Lake Tapps, Wash.) and Cassie Tycast (So., Austin, Texas).



The Broncos have faced five of their seven Cancun Classic opponents at some point or another in the Boise State gymnastics history.


BYU: Over program history Boise State has faced Brigham Young the most out of the seven Cancun Classic opponents. The Cougars hold a 33-7 series record lead over the Broncos all-time, however Boise State earned a 194.425 to 193.350 win over BYU in February 2008.


Oregon State: Another long time opponent of Boise State has been Oregon State who holds a 34-1 all-time series lead over the Broncos. Boise State’s first and only victory against the Beavers came in April 1998 when they edged out the Beavers 193.925-193.250 at the 1998 NCAA West Regional Championships. During the 2008 season, Boise State dropped a close 197.200-196.575 to the Beavers at the Salbasgeon Suites Invite. Both Oregon State’s score and Boise State’s score marked their season team-highs for 2008.


Stanford: Stanford and Boise State have faced off 21 times with the Cardinal leading the all-time series 16-5. In their most recent meeting, Stanford earned a 195.275-189.850 win over Boise State at the 2006 NCAA West Regional Championships.


Denver: The Broncos hold a dead-even tie with the University of Denver after posting an 8-8-1 all-time series with the Pioneers. The most recent match-up between the two teams ended in a 195.275-187.850 win for Denver in March 2005.


LSU: Boise State has only face Louisiana State University once in program history, falling 195.700-192.875 at the NCAA West Regional Championships in April 2003.


Michigan: The Michigan Wolverines and Boise State Broncos will face-off for the first time in program history at the 2009 Cancun Classic.


North Carolina: The North Carolina Tar Heels and Boise State Broncos will face-off for the first time in program history at the 2009 Cancun Classic.



The Brigham Young Cougars enter the season ranked No. 29 in the NCAA preseason coaches’ poll after finishing the 2008 season ranked No. 24. They welcome back 13 letterwinners, including two All-Americans. The Cougars posted season-high team score of 196.300 in 2008 and had a team average of 194.173.



The University of Denver enters the season as the No. 14 ranked team in the country, dropping two spots from their 2008 final ranking of 12th. The Pioneers were 2008 NCAA qualifiers who posted a 194.200 in the prelims to place 12th overall. They averaged a score of 195.202 during the 2008 season and posted a season-best of 196.575. Denver is one of only two teams who competed in the 2008 Cancun Classic, placing second in the first of two sessions with a score of 193.200. They finished third overall with the top team from session two surpassing them.



Louisiana State University enters the 2009 season as the No. 7 ranked team in the nation. They finished the 2008 season ranked No. 5 after making it to the Super-Six and scoring a 196.350 in the NCAA finals. They return 10 from last season, including three All-Americans: Susan Jackson (Jr., First Team Vault, Beam, Floor, All Around), Ashleigh Clare-Kearney (Sr., First Team Bars, Floor) and Summer Hubbard (Jr., First Team Bars). The Tigers join Denver as one of two teams who competed at the 2008 Cancun Classic. The Tigers scored a 195.725 at the meet, snagging the top spot in the first session as well as winning the overall team competition.



The Wolverines enter the season at the same spot at which they left the 2008 season in the rankings, No. 8. After qualifying for the NCAA championships, Michigan was able to post a 196.075 in the preliminary round to finish eighth overall. They averaged 196.542 in 2008 and hit a season-high of 197.600. The Wolverines return All-Americans Kylee Botterman (So., First Team Bars, Second Team Vault) and Becky Bernard (Sr., First Team Bars).



North Carolina enters the 2009 season as the No. 28 ranked team in the country, moving them up eight spots from No. 36 where they finished the 2008 season. The Tar Heels posted a season-high of 195.450 in 2008 and averaged 193.875 over the entire season.



Oregon State improved to a No. 9 ranking for the 2009 preseason poll after finishing the 2008 season at No. 11. The NCAA qualifying team posted a score of 195.475 in the preliminary round, putting them in 11th. The Beavers return 11 from last season, including 2008 All-Americans Jennifer Kesler (So., Second Team Bars) and Jami Lanz (Sr., Second Team Beam). They posted a season high of 197.200 in the Salbasgeon Suites Invite (where Boise State also posted their 2008 season-high). The Beavers also averaged 196.042 for the entire season of 2008.



Stanford enters the Cancun Classic as the highest ranked team, holding the No. 5 spot in the 2009 preseason coaches’ poll. The Cardinal finished the 2008 season as the No. 3 ranked team after placing third at the NCAA Championships with a score of 196.750. Stanford returns two All-Americans: Carly Janiga (Jr., Second Team Floor) and Nicole Ourada (Sr., Second Team All Around). The Cardinal posted a 2008 season high of 197.375 and an average of 196.236 over the entire season.

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