BYU gymnastics: Evans earns All-American honors at NCAA National Championships

Shannon Hortman Evans earned second-team All-American honors at the NCAA National Championships on Friday night after scoring a 9.900 on her uneven bars routine.

“It was amazing and incredible just making it here,” Evans said. “I went out on a long stretch and made it my goal to become BYU’s next All-American and train for that and did all I could. I’m so happy to be able to represent BYU and get the team’s name back out here at nationals.”

Evans took seventh place overall as an individual competitor on the uneven bars with a score of 9.900. Rachel Gowey and Amelia Hundley from No. 4 Florida also tied for seventh on the event.

This marks the first time in 14 years since a BYU gymnast has both qualified for nationals and earned All-America honors. The last time was in 2004 when Kari Lords was named to the second team for floor exercise.

“I’m really proud of Shannon,” head coach Guard Young said. “She proved a lot to herself and to the gymnastics community that she deserved to be out here.”

The final six teams will compete Saturday in the Super Six Championship. Details on how to watch the meet can be found via

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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


Utah’s MyKayla Skinner a NCAA champion on vault, Sydney Soloski and Missy Reinstadtler All-Americans

ST. LOUIS — While the NCAA women’s gymnastics national championship will be decided Saturday night at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena, with six teams, including the University of Utah, battling for the ultimate prize, individual gymnasts walked away with titles and All-American honors Friday night.

Among those winners was Utah star sophomore MyKayla Skinner. The defending NCAA champion on floor exercise, as well as the NCAA runner-up on floor, Skinner was at her award-winning best when the stakes were highest for the Red Rocks.

She scored better than a 9.900 on each event, with a 9.9375 on vault, a 9.9250 on uneven bars, a 9.9250 on balance beam and a 9.9375 on floor exercise. Her all-around score was an impressive 39.7250, one of the best marks of her season.

As a result, Skinner earned herself a spot on the NCAA first team on every event, save bars.

Not only that, her vault was one of the best of the entire day of competition, a day which included 12 teams, over 300 routines and the best gymnasts in the country.

Skinner tied with Brenna Dowell of Oklahoma and Alex McMurtry of Florida for the vault title, the second time in her collegiate career she has been an individual NCAA champion.

“I feel really good. It is really cool. Getting individual titles has been a dream come true,” said Skinner. “(After) winning a lot of stuff last year it was kind of stressful to have to redeem yourself so it was really cool to tie for first on vault.

“Vault has always been a strong event for me so it was cool to be at the top on that event.”

Skinner also finished as the runner-up in the all-around competition, for the second year in a row, trailing just Oklahoma star Maggie Nichols.

“I got second on the all-around again, I didn’t think that was going to happen,” said Skinner. “You just never know what is going to happen in each meet. Overall it was a really good meet and I am really happy about how I did”

Skinner wasn’t the only Red Rock to shine. Sydney Soloski and Missy Reinstadtler each earned themselves spots on the NCAA second team, Soloski on floor and Reinstadtler in the all-around.

Soloski scored a 9.9125 on floor, in a routine she believed was one her best this season.

“I think that was one of my best floor routines this season, for sure,” said Soloski. “The floor was …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


Red Rocks survive scares on vault and beam to earn spot in Super Six

ST. LOUIS — Prior to the NCAA women’s gymnastics championship, Utah co-head coach Megan Marsden was confident about how her team matched up with the competition — that is, against the competition with which the Red Rocks are familiar.

“We know how we compare to UCLA. We’ve seen them multiple times this season,” said Marsden. “We are pretty evenly matched with them. They’ll win one and we will win one.”

More exciting was the prospect of seeing how the Utes matched up with country’s other elite teams, particularly Oklahoma.

“It is exciting,” said sophomore MyKayla Skinner. “We don’t get to see them during the season so it’s exciting to see them in person.”

Exciting doesn’t come close to covering what happened Friday night at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena.

Led by Skinner, who posted an all-around score of 39.7250, as well as All-American efforts by Missy Reinstadtler and Sydney Soloski, the Red Rocks finished third in the evening competition, with a score of 197.1375.

That finish secured the Utes a berth in the Super Six, alongside Oklahoma, Florida, UCLA, LSU and Nebraska (the Bruins, Tigers and Cornhusker took the top three spots in the afternoon semifinal).

“It was a battle,” co-head coach Tom Farden said. “That thing was intense.”

“We did great because we made it to Super Six,” said Skinner. “Tomorrow we can go out there and end the season with a bang.”

For much of the meet “tomorrow” was in doubt. The Red Rocks started the competition on vault, and while things initially went well, they took a turn for the worst on a big hop by Tiffani Lewis and a side step by Kim Tessen

“I thought we were a little tentative,” said Farden. “I told the girls that we needed to relax a bit and trust our training a little more.”

Skinner did just that, as she is wont to do, and drilled her rotation-ending vault. The routine earned a 9.9375, which tied for the top individual score of the day.

Despite her heroics, Utah found itself in fourth place and out of Super Six qualification after the initial rotation.

Everything changed on bars. Lewis led off with a 9.850 and no Utah gymnast scored lower than a 9.8250 on the apparatus. Skinner, once again, closed the rotation with a high score, a 9.925.

“I was really happy with bars,” said Farden. “Bars kind of righted the ship.”

The next rotation put the Red Rocks on balance beam, and again they …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News