Columbia, Mo. (February 1, 2002) -- The BYU gymnastics team defended its championship at the 22nd annual State Farm Cat Classic, scoring a tournament record score of 194.950. The score was more than enough to beat out host Missouri, as well as Pittsburgh and Auburn.
"I'm very pleased with how well the kids are coming along," head coach Brad Cattermole said. "We're performing well for this early in the season. It was just a real solid meet."
Freshman Jaime Mabray, in only her third collegiate competition, led the Cougar gymnasts by taking second place in the all-around with a score of 39.225. Mabray finished only .025 points behind Missouri's Alisha Robinson, who won the all-around as a freshman. The 39.225 tied Kelly Parkinson-Evanson's cahmpionship score from a year ago.
"Jaime's a real competitor," Cattermole said. "She's really been doing her best gymnastics work in the meets."
Missouri finished in second place, with a score of 194.475. BYU would have won by a lot more, but in the final event of the night, balance beam, the Cougars had a few uncharacteristic falls.
"If it wasn't for a few falls on beam, we would have scored more than 196, which would be absoultely fantastic this early in the season," Cattermole said. "But I'm very happy with our score tonight. The kids hit when they had to."
The top-ten finishers in each event Friday night will compete in an individual competition Saturday night. The two-day format is run similar to NCAA Nationals, so BYU hopes its practice here will lead to better things at the end of the season.
"We have some things we can work on right now, but for this early in the season, I'm very happy with how the team is doing," Cattermole said.