Cougars to Battle Utah State in Logan

PROVO -- With impressive wins on the road already under its belt, the BYU women's gymnastics team will go to Logan to take on Utah State Wednesday at 6 p.m. The gymnasts will also participate in a special Olympic torch ceremony prior to the meet.

"It gives all the gymnasts an opprtunity to be part of something special," BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said.

Immediately after the torch leaves the arena, the meet will begin. While BYU has gained confidence heading into the meet, Utah State is a very good gymnastics team and always performs its best when it faces the Cougars.

"When Utah State plays against us, they play it like they are at the Olympics," BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said. "This is a really big in-state meet for the kids."

BYU holds an edge in scoring so far on the season, but Cattermole knows that previous scores don't count when it comes to in-state rivals like Utah State and Utah.

"It never matters what happens, it's always a close meet," Cattermole said.

BYU has showed steady improvement in each meet this season. The Cougars' team score has risen each week and they hope to continue the trend in Logan.

At the 22nd annual State Farm Cat Classic, the BYU Cougars defended their 2001 title against three other teams. BYU, with a score of 194.950, outscored Missouri, Pittsburgh and Auburn to take the team championship.

"To get a good score in Missouri is tough to do," Cattermole said. "I was real pleased with how we performed, we just couldn't hit on beam."

Three uncharacteristic falls on the beam forced the Cougars to count two falls in that rotation. Without the mishaps on beam, BYU easily could have scored over 196, a phenomenal score for early February.

BYU was led by freshman Jaime Mabray, who scored a 39.225 in her first collegiate all-around competition, good for second at the meet. Mabray won the individual beam title the next night to cap an impressive weekend for the freshman. The 39.225 matched All-American Kelly Evanson's score from a year ago at the same meet, the second highest score ever for the Cat Classic. Evanson didn't leave the meet empty-handed either, winning the individual vault title Saturday night.

"We competed real well at that meet," Cattermole said. "Our team had the mentality of trying to stick the routines rather than just not fall."

The Cougars hope to put the beam problems behind them in the Utah State meet and future meets as well. Instead of hitting on only three events like it did in Missouri, BYU will look to be on top of its game the whole night.

"Our team goal for this meet is to be consistent in all four events," Cattermole said. "We just need to make sure we hit when we need to hit."

BYU and Utah State split the two meets last season, with each team winning at home. BYU took the home meet against Utah State wth a then school record score of 197.325. The Cougars broke that mark the next week against Utah, scoring a 197.375 in a loss to their in-state rival.

BYU will be on the road again next week, when it travels to Southern Utah for a Friday night meet. The Cougars will finally have their first home meet Feb. 22 against Boise State and Utah State.

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