Cougars to Compete in Cat Classic

Provo, Utah (February 5, 2003) -- Recovering from a difficult loss to Kentucky, BYU's 20th-ranked gymnastics team heads to Columbia, Missouri this weekend to compete in the State Farm Cat Classic Friday and Saturday.

The team is looking to repeat as champions of the tournament, hosted by University of Missouri, where the Cougars have taken first the past two years.

"It's a good meet, with good teams," BYU's head coach Brad Cattermole said. "We are looking to defend our past two years of titles, but we are going to have to really work for it this year."

With high scorer Jaime Mabray still out of competition with a broken foot, and powerhouse Kari Lords slowed down a little with a sprained neck, the team will have to avoid the mistakes they made last week in their loss against Kentucky.

"We just have to get out there and focus on gymnastics," Cattermole said. "We can't let one bad meet slow us down. As the season goes on, we'll stop making little mistakes and our confidence will continue to increase."

The Cat Classic consists of four teams, the Arizona Wildcats, New Hampshire Wildcats, Missouri Tigers and the BYU Cougars, competing in a similar fashion as the NCAA Nationals. The first day is devoted to team competition and the second for individual event specialists.

Last year, as a freshman, Jaime Mabray took second place in the all-around with a 39.225 and took the individual beam title with a 9.900. All-American Kelly Parkinson-Evanson took home the individual title for vault.

The Cougars have participated in this tournament ten times, winning the title in 2001 and 2002.

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