Cougars Nearly End Utah's 20-Year Winning Streak But Come Up Short

SALT LAKE -- Despite giving Utah its closest regular season meet in the past 20 years, BYU's No. 20-ranked women's gymnastics team lost to 4th-ranked Utah, 196.300-195.800, in the Huntsman Center Friday night.

With the win, Utah has won 154 straight regular season meets since last losing in 1979 to Cal-State Fullerton. BYU received its highest score of the season while forcing the Utes to come from behind during the final rotation.

"I thought we did a good job on the beam tonight," BYU coach Brad Cattermole said. "Our bar score would have been better if Denice would have hit, which she usually does. We've been working on being mentally tougher and they have responded well to being pushed. We did very well tonight."

The Cougars were steady in the first two rotations, scoring 48.900 on bars and 48.750 on vault. After scoring a 49.325 on the floor, the Cougars took a 146.975-146.775 advantage into the final rotation but could not hold on despite scoring a 48.825 on balance beam as the Utes delivered one great performance after the other for a 49.525 on floor.

Utah's Deidra Graham won the all-around with a 39.550 and the Utes Denise Jones finished second with a 39.450. BYU's Kim Little and Jeni Thomas placed third and fourth at 39.150 and 38.975, respectively.

Event winners

Vault:

1. (tie) Deidra Graham (Utah), 9.875

Denise Jones (Utah), 9.875

3. (tie) Kim Little (BYU), 9.850

Kelly Partkinson (BYU), 9.850

Other BYU scores:

Angie Hickman, 9.750

Jeni Thomas, 9.650

Denice Pauga, 9.650

Hilary Johnson, 9.475

Uneven Bars:

1. Jenny Schmidt (Utah), 9.900

2. (tie) Leah Niepraschk (BYU), 9.875

Deidra Graham (Utah), 9.875

Other BYU scores:

Parkinson, 9.850

Mindi Hilton, 9.775

Thomas, 9.700

Little, 9.700

Pauga, 9.250

Balance Beam:

1. Graham (Utah), 9.900

2. Ashley Kever (Utah), 9.875

3. Denice Pauga (BYU), 9.850

Other BYU scores:

Karen Nielsen, 9.825

Thomas, 9.750

Little, 9.700

Parkinson, 9.700

Hayley Love, 9.675

Floor Exercise:

1. Jones (Utah) 9.950

2. Kever (Utah) 9.925

BYU scores:

Pauga, 9.900

Little, 9.900

Thomas, 9.875

Marisa Cosgrave, 9.825

Candace Cosgrave, 9.825

Parkinson, 9.275