Balance beam proved to be the Cougars' top event at the Cancun Classic. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
CANCUN -- The BYU gymnastics team began the 2009 season against stiff competition at the sixth annual Cancun Gymnastics Classic, finishing fourth in its session with a score of 189.125.
The Cougars finished behind No. 5 Stanford (195.60), No. 9 Oregon State (194.575) and No. 14 Denver (193.825).
“We have a very young team, and they’re still learning,” said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole, whose team has no seniors. “We made some mistakes but we intend to get better. Since it’s early in the season, we took some chances to see what our girls could do. We have some bright spots, but we also have some spots that need to improve.”
Balance beam proved to be the strongest event for the Cougars as they posted a team score of 48.250, finishing third ahead of Denver. Freshman Natalie Eyre, competing in her first collegiate meet, led BYU with a score of 9.825, the highest Cougar mark of the night. Fellow freshman Krysten Koval was right behind with a 9.700 while junior Danielle Goldman tallied a 9.675.
The Cougars also tallied event scores of 47.150 on vault, 47.125 on bars and 46.600 on floor exercise.
“Our beam team did exceptionally well,” said Cattermole. “We struggled on floor and vault, but when you lose 17 of 24 routines from the previous season, it makes it tough to do as well as you’d like early in the season.”
BYU will now return stateside and begin preparing for its first home meet of the season this Friday against the Beavers at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. OSU is 2-1 on the year by virtue of its second-place finish in Cancun.