BOISE, Idaho--Boise State sophomore Sandra Collantes is coming off an amazing performance as she scored 39.425 in the all-around competition in the Broncos' win over BYU last weekend. Collantes, whose role has steadily grown during her career, turned in the third-highest all-around score in Mountain Rim Conference history, and her performance last Friday places her fourth in the nation. Collantes was named Mountain Rim Gymnast of the week for her efforts.
Collantes hails from Lima, Peru, and brings a wealth of experience to the Bronco program. She has represented Peru in the 2007 Junior Pan American Championships and the 2009, 2011 and 2012 Pan American Championships. In 2009, Sandra finished third on vault, an event she won at the 2013 South American Championships. In 2012, Collantes placed sixth at the South American Championships in the all-around.
"Sandra comes with many years in elite national competition," Bronco co-head coach Neil Resnick said. "There's no substitute for that," he continued. "She's got special qualities."
Collantes then moved to the Virginia Beach, Virginia and competed for Excalibur Gymnastics, the same club where Bronco senior Krystine Jacobsen perfected her craft. Sandra credits the staff at Excalibur for her growth as a gymnast. In 2011, Collantes won the Junior Olympic National Championship on vault and was runner-up on floor.
Although Sandra likes all four events, her favorite is floor. Collantes puts on a dazzling floor performance, and her leg strength makes her an excellent vaulter. "I've always considered myself a powerful gymnast," she said. "I like to use my legs, so that just makes floor and vault easier for me."
Collantes is part of a super group of six sophomores that are helping to carry the Broncos to new heights in the gymnastics world. Last week, Boise State set a school record with a #10 national ranking and this week, they moved up to #9.
"They're a great group of kids," Resnick said. "They got a lot of experience last year, and that's made them a stronger class than they would have been otherwise."
"It's amazing," Collantes said. "We support each other in everything. We are this good because we push each other every day. Everyone has talent in every event. Not only as gymnasts but as people they support you in everything and that is why we're doing so well."
The Broncos take to the road for the next two weeks, facing always tough Southern Utah this Friday. Boise State features arguably the most entertaining home schedule in school history this season--the Broncos host Ohio State in their next home meet February 19.