Boise State gymnast Diana Mejia is a second team All-American on the uneven bars. But few in the country rival her when it comes to setting up a vault board.
Mejia, a senior captain for the No. 11 Broncos, has helped set up the spring boards for vaulters at meets since she was a freshman. After four years on the job, she still takes pride in her work.
Mejia’s work will be put to its toughest test Saturday when Boise State travels to Lincoln, Neb., for the NCAA Regionals. The Broncos earned a No. 2 seed for the first time in school history.
Six teams are invited to each of the of six regionals around the country; the top two teams from each regional qualifies for the NCAA Championships (12 total). Boise State has never made nationals as a program.
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Because of the fast pace at which her and her teammates set up spring boards and mats during meets throughout the year, Mejia affectionately refers to herself as a member of “The Pit Crew.” She is but one cog in The Pit Crew that helps the team run smoothly during meets.
“We’re just moving so fast and trying to do it efficiently,” Mejia said. “That’s why we call ourselves ‘The Pit Crew.’”
Mejia has memorized every vaulter’s specifications for spring placement and where they like to launch from; she knows how to set up a vaulter’s board better than most of the vaulters.
Mary Frances Bir’s vault setup proves tricky for Mejia because of an unorthodox crossing of screws. Mejia manages to get through seamlessly most of the time, though it admittedly isn’t always perfect.
“Usually if the board is off they’ll notice,” Mejia said. “But generally I don’t really tell them until after they’re done vaulting. Like, ‘By the way, that one vault that was not so good? I forgot to put the spring in.’”