PROVO -- The BYU women's gymnastics team looks for a key early season victory when it takes on Oregon State Friday night. It will be the second meet for the Cougars, who competed against North Carolina State and Kentucky in the Bahamas two weeks ago.
While the meet in the Bahamas was very early in the season, head coach Brad Cattermole was pleased with what he saw and is confident going into the meet with Oregon State. But Cattermole knows winning won't be easy, especially against a tough Oregon State team that edged out the Cougars last season in the NCAA Regional tournament.
"Winning on the road in gymnastics is very difficult to do," Cattermole said. "Oregon State is a very good gymnastics team. They've proved it year in and year out."
Kelly Parkinson-Evanson leads the Cougars into Friday's meet with the Beavers, but the rest of BYU's lineup is filled with talent. Jeni Lopez will join Parkinson-Evanson in competing in all four events, and freshman Jaime Mabray has surprised Cattermole with how quickly she is improving. Overall, Cattermole just wants to get going with the big meets.
"Usually it feels like we need more time," Cattermole said. "Now we don't feel like that. We're tired of practicing and we need to get a meet."
Oregon State took second in the NCAA Regionals last season just ahead of BYU. The 2002 Oregon State gymnastics team lost four seniors from that lineup, but have brought in talented freshmen and some gymnasts have healed from previous injuries. The two teams should be very competitive and make for a great early season meet.
"We could beat them and they very well could beat us," Cattermole said. "We like these type of meets."