The Boise State gymnastics team is arguably the best sports program at the university right now after achieving a No. 19 ranking nationally last season.
Unfortunately for their opponents, the Broncos just got a whole lot better with a new group of newcomers.
The Broncos have just added four incoming freshmen, as well as one redshirt freshman who joined the program in spring to form arguably their best group of newcomers yet.
“To see what kind of college athletes these girls will develop into is going to be exciting,” co-head coach Tina Bird said.
The true freshmen include Abby Webb, Lianne Josbacher, Alex Esmerian and Ann Stockwell. Redshirt freshman Sandra Collantes joined the team in spring, but did not compete.
“I think all of them are going to make an impact for us this season,” Bird said. “I think the upperclassmen will have to work extra hard to keep their spots.”
Each of the new recruits brings to the team their own unique talents and stories.
Webb is the only newcomer with ties to the state of Idaho. She spent her high school years competing for the Palouse Empire club based in Moscow, Idaho.
“It was different, but I definitely loved competing for Idaho and I have loved it ever since,” Webb said. “It was a big reason why I chose to come to Boise State.”
Josbacher came from such a small gymnastics team that she didn’t know what being part of a team was like until she came to Boise State.
“I just want to help the team in any way possible because I have never been part of one before. I love them so much,” Josbacher said. “They are all like my older sisters to me.”
Esmerian brings her exceptional beam talent to the Broncos, an event not for the faint of heart.
“I have just always loved beam and it’s definitely my favorite event,” she said. “I don’t get scared by it and everyone says it’s the hardest event but for me it’s just fun.”
Stockwell gives the Broncos another all-around talent and can step in to support her teammates in any gymnatsics event.
Finally, Collantes is a national champion for her home country of Peru and would have competed last year for the Broncos had she not gotten injured.
“I am a little nervous because I had never stopped for this long,” Collantes said. “I am excited to be back and be able to help my team because I know they are great.”
One thing is for sure: the girls are all loving their new team and are happy they came to Boise State.
“I really love the whole community of Boise,” Stockwell said. “It really reminded me of my hometown. It feels like home to me.”