Lisa Willis performs crowd-pleasing routine. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- BYU gymnastics returns to the Marriott Center with renewed focus to challenge Utah State in the first of a series of home meets Friday at 7 p.m.
"Survival time is over," said Brad Cattermole, BYU head coach. "We're now approaching the 'perfection' part of the season."
Competition is no longer about landing individual performances, but about solid meets, hitting the routines as a whole, Cattermole said. The team is working hard at overall strength and consistency. Practices focus on perfecting the little details and eliminating technical errors.
"The girls are determined to get the big scores," he said. "If we hit like we're capable of doing, then we'll be fine."
The BYU line up will include Kari Lords, nationally ranked No. 2 on beam, and Jaime Mabray, BYU's all-around competitor. Cougar fans can also expect to see the Claveau twins, Genevieve and Marie-Helene, back in the line up, but Brogan Jocobsen may sit out pending a calf muscle she strained prior to the Cat Classic last week.
The team will take advantage of the home-meet situation to add many exhibition gymnasts to the line up. Cattermole said the Cougars have many talented gymnasts who have not had the opportunity to compete. Exhibition is a fun way for fans to see their potential and it gives them the experience without all the pressure.
"Instead of just the blood and guts, they also get the glory of being part of the team," he said.
Cattermole said the Cougars are looking strong, but will have to pull together to compete with the Aggies.
"Utah State doesn't get the respect they deserve," he said. "They stay focused, they perform well and they don't give up. We'll have to have a good meet to do well."
The Aggies are currently 1-3, coming off their first win of the season, against Southern Utah, 196.0-195.7.
The Cougars are currently 3-3, returning from the Cat Classic with a second place finish (196.125) against Missouri (197.350), Penn State (195.575) and Kentucky (194.25).
Tickets for Friday's meet are available at the BYU Ticket Office or by calling 800-322-BYU1 or 378-BYU1. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for senior citizens, BYU faculty, and students without an All-Sport Card; and $15 for a family pass. Admission is free to students with an All-Sport Card.
"Cowboy Night" is the promotion for the meet, as fans wearing hats, Wranglers and large belt buckles can win prizes. The meet will be televised on KBYU, channel 11, and on BYU Television, which is available nationally on the Dish Network and DirecTV.