BYU Gymnasts Storm the Smith Fieldhouse

Cougar fans will have their first chance to see the BYU gymnastics team this Friday in the Smith Fieldhouse. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU women’s gymnastics team will make its home debut this Friday as the Cougars host No. 9 Oregon State in the Smith Fieldhouse. The meet will begin at 7 p.m. and be followed by autograph signing with the 2009 team.

“It’s always nice to compete at home,” said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. “At this point in the season, we’re just trying to put the right people in the right spots. We want to do what we do the best that we can do it.”

The 2009 Cougar squad features a young lineup with no seniors and only seven of 24 routines returning from last season. Despite its inexperience, the squad has high hopes for a successful season once all the pieces fall into place.

“Our team is still learning and making mistakes, but we will get better,” said Cattermole. “We’re taking some chances with the lineup to see what the girls can do. If we can hit five of six sets on every event, that will be a great start.”

BYU opened its 2009 campaign last week at the sixth annual Cancun Classic. While the Cougars finished fourth behind three top-15 teams, including the Beavers, there were several bright spots. Several freshmen stepped up for the Cougars, including Natalie Eyre, who posted the highest BYU score of the night with a 9.825 on the balance beam. Team co-captain McKell Poulson-Merkley competed on floor exercise for the first time in her collegiate career with a score of 9.350.

Fans who cannot attend the meet can follow all the action via live stats. The link can be found by going to the schedule page of the BYU women’s gymnastics homepage at http://www.byucougars.com/gymnastics_w/.

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