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Boise State Gymnastics seniors set personal best in meet against Utah State

Photo by Mackenzie Hudson

Traveling to Cedar City, Utah the week prior, the No. 20 Boise State Gymnastics team fell to No. 17 Southern Utah University. This was the team’s first loss of the season after defeating No. 13 Oregon State and No. 14 BYU in the month of January. 

Swinging into the month of February, the team faced off against Utah State University on Feb. 6. After four events, the Broncos beat the Aggies 196.350-196.250. 

On Feb. 1, Boise State Athletics announced that a limited number of fans would be allowed inside ExtraMile Arena.

“Beginning with this weekend’s women’s basketball homestand and a home gymnastics meet, Boise State will allow attendance to ExtraMile Arena for a limited number of immediate family members of Bronco student-athletes and coaches. Family members will be required to test negative for COVID-19 prior to gaining entry,” said a statement released by Boise State Athletics.

A small group of Boise State fans and family members cheered on the women in blue and orange throughout their four events, shaking poms and waving BSU flags. 

The Broncos started out the night on vault with redshirt junior Tessa Otuafi. However, the Aggies swiped the first place spot, and coming in at second place was redshirt senior Maddi Nilson. She scored a 9.850 and was the highest-scoring Bronco in this event. 

Rotating to their second event, uneven parallel bars, senior Emily Muhlenhaupt came out on top with a near-perfect score of 9.975. Right behind her in second place was freshman Emily Lopez with a 9.875. 

The Broncos and the Aggies came close in points with these two high scores on bars and a high score from Nilson on vault. 

“Maddi (Nilson) got us started with that stick on vault, and Emily (Muhlenhaupt) did her normal thing on bars, carrying the momentum through beam, and then Maddi set a personal best on floor,” said Head Coach Tina Bird. “I’m proud of our senior leadership, but we’re going to have a target on our backs as we move forward and we’re definitely going to need to keep cleaning things up as we progress through this season.”

A Bronco gymnast does the splits on a balance beam during a meet.
Photo by Mackenzie Hudson

Heading into beam, Muhlenhaupt came in second place with a score of 9.875 behind Autumn DeHarde (9.925) from the Aggies. The next Bronco to place was senior Gabriela Cavinta (9.825) who tied for fifth place with two Aggies. 

Rotating to their last event, floor, Nilson took first place scoring a 9.900 with her routine. After her came three Broncos who tied for third with a 9.825. These student-athletes were juniors Hope Masiado, Samantha Smith and freshman Courtney Blackson. 

After evaluating the scores, the Broncos led with a .100 point difference and took home another win. 

Utah State will get a rematch against Boise State on Feb. 13 in Logan, Utah.

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