Brittany Potvin-Green figured she was doing something right after getting a scholarship to compete as a Division I gymnast.
Then she started to work with Neil Resnick, the Boise State coach who has served as the vault coach for the national and junior national teams for more than a decade.
"He changed everything - my run, my hurdle," said Potvin-Green, now a senior. "I thought I had it down, but I trusted him, knowing his reputation, and he was totally right."
Potvin-Green averages a 9.803 on the vault, with teammates Ciera Perkins and Kelsey Black also averaging a 9.8 or better heading into Saturday's NCAA West Regional. The seven best vault scores in team history have come in the past four seasons, and Resnick has credited that to finding and developing "power-based" athletes.
Resnick wants strong gymnasts who can handle the 12 or 13 competitions a year required of a collegiate athlete.
"That was my area of expertise. I was surrounded by lots of good coaches, great athletes and I saw what their commonalities were and put together a formula for success in that event," Resnick said.
For an event that lasts just a few seconds, the success is in the details. "He has the eye for the itty, bitty things most coaches can't see," Potvin-Green said. "He'll say, 'Try this,' and I'll be thinking, 'OK, sure.' ut then it'll work perfectly."
When Boise State claimed the WAC championship March 23 in Utah, the Broncos scored a 49.40 on the vault, the third-best score in school history. It was .10 better than second-place Denver, and also proved to be the Broncos' final margin of victory.
"I think if we can repeat that and take a step up on floor - we had a 48.725, which is low for us - then we can compete with anyone," Resnick said.
"We all did amazing, but there's definitely room for improvement," junior Amanda Otuafi said. "We can't worry about making the NCAAs or whatever. If we just focus on our event, we know we'll be in a good situation."
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Corvallis, Ore.
Who: No. 6 Georgia, No. 10 Oregon State, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 21 Boise State, No. 28 Arizona State, No. 32 California
Note: Two teams qualify for the NCAA Championships on April 19-21, with the top two individual event champions not on an advancing team also qualifying.