Senior Megan Donehue tied her season high on the vault and equaled her career high on the beam against Utah. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- With in-state supremacy on the line, the BYU gymnastics team posted its third-highest score of the season Friday night against Utah but came up just short, 195.925-194.375, in the gymnastics installment of the Deseret First Duel.
“We’re moving in the right direction,” said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. “We had three really good events tonight and just made some mistakes on the fourth. I was pleased with our effort. If we can continue improving, we’ll be fine.”
The Cougars got off to a solid start in the meet with a 48.975 on the vault, their second-highest score of the season on that event. Four BYU gymnasts scored 9.800 or higher to propel the Cougars. BYU saved the best for last with marks of 9.825 from senior Megan Donehue and sophomore Natalie Eyre. Utah began the meet on the bars with a score of 49.000, resulting in a difference of just .025 between the two teams after the first event.
Utah was able to create some distance in the second rotation as the Cougars got off to a slow start on the bars while the Utes posted their second-highest mark of the season on the vault (49.250). McKell Poulson-Merkley tallied the high score for BYU on the bars with a 9.800 while Madeleine Johnson and Donehue each notched 9.775s to contribute to a 48.725 team score. Utes Annie DiLuzio and Kyndal Robarts each recorded 9.900s on the vault.
After tying her season high on the vault, Donehue once again came up big for BYU on the balance beam, equaling her career high with a 9.875. The mark helped boost the Cougars to their highest beam score of the year at 48.700. Donehue posted the top BYU scores on both the beam and the vault and the highest Cougar mark overall in the meet with her beam score. Meanwhile, Utah posted a 49.125 on the floor.
Both teams were forced to count falls on the final rotation as the heat of competition increased. Senior Danielle Goldman and freshman Jennifer Lezeu were the high scorers for BYU on the floor as each gymnast posted a 9.775. However, Utah’s Jamie Deetscreek scored a huge 9.925 on the beam to keep the Cougars at bay and secure the win for the Utes.
BYU will next compete in tri-meet action against Boise State and Utah State on Friday, March 5, in Boise, Idaho.