In the locker room before the final home meet of her career, Paige Urquhart couldn’t hold back the tears.
The Boise State senior and her gymnastics teammates didn’t hold back in competition, either.
The result was a program-record team score as the No. 10 Broncos defeated No. 8 Denver 197.675 to 197.150 on Friday night in front of 1,870 fans at Taco Bell Arena.
“There’s just so much emotion always in the senior meet, and everyone on the team wants it so bad for the seniors,” Urquhart said. “I think we channeled it to the right places — to sticking our landings, to keeping calm, to doing it for the team, for the win for the seniors.”
Boise State’s record team performance — and its first win over Denver in three tries this season — was boosted by multiple individual milestones.
Freshman Courtney McGregor posted career-bests on the vault (9.900), uneven bars (9.950) and beam (9.875), and sophomore Shani Remme (9.900) and senior Mackenzie Bennion (9.900) each earned personal bests on floor.
“We’ve definitely been talking about trying to have that magical meet, because we’ve had a lot of great performances, but we’ve also had some not-so-great ones in the same meet, so the outcomes haven’t been as great as we’d wanted,” McGregor said. “But tonight was senior night. This was the last time the seniors would be competing here at home, so it was really emotional, and everyone was trying to do really well for them.”
The Broncos’ 49.500 on bars tied for the third-best score in program history, while their 49.400 on beam ranks fourth.
McGregor earned the win on bars, Remme tied for first on beam and juniors Ann Stockwell and Sandra Collantes shared the win on floor with Denver’s Nikole Addison.
“I think we’ve been waiting to hit, and just at the right moment, we put it all together tonight,” said Remme, who is tied for 23rd nationally in the all-around. “It was really exciting being at home again, because we’ve been on the road so much.”
With Friday’s record score, the Broncos move a step closer to their goal of securing the first team berth to the NCAA Championships. But first they’ll try for their third straight title at the Mountain Rim Gymnastics Championships next Saturday in Logan, Utah.
And even after the best performance in program history, co-head coach Neil Resnick has no doubt his Broncos can do even better.
“We still made mistakes. I think what we’ve been able to accomplish this year that’s so important is we’ve come out of good meets, OK meets, even a bad meet or two and had the exact same self-evaluation,” Resnick said.
“What can we do better to be better? What can we do in the next week? What are the things we have to address both as a group and individually to keep getting better, because I’ve told them, you’re going up or you’re going down. There’s no such thing as maintaining.”