(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The BYU gymnastics team has climbed the ranks to No. nine in national rankings after a great home meet against Southern Utah last weekend (195.725). The team was ranked 18th in the preseason coaches poll.
The Cougars are now ready for the next chance to prove themselves. They will be traveling to New Hampshire this weekend to take on the University of New Hampshire Wildcats who are currently ranked 38th. The meet will be in Lundholm Gymnasium at 7 pm EST.
The Wildcats are 3-0 after defeating Rutgers (191.6) in their opening meet and Yale and Rhode Island this last weekend (190.125). Leading the way for the Wildcats is junior all-arounder Amanda Hall who placed first in all events at their last meet. Hall posted a season-high 39.15. She is followed by senior and co-captain Vanessa James who scored a season-high 38.025.
The Cougars are only improving as their season continues. Sophomores Kandis Kelly and Dayna Smart are currently tied for sixth in the nation on beam. All-arounder Marie-Helene Claveau is ranked eighth on vault and 19th in the all-around category. Also ranked in the all-around is co-captain Jaime Mabray who is 16th in the nation.
Though the Cougars slipped a little from their performance in Cancun, they are still going strong. Newcomer Alethea Boon, who recently joined the team in December, improved her vault from a 9.5 to 9.65. Kacie Capra tied her career high on vault against SUU (9.875). Sierra Jacobs beat both of her career highs on vault and floor with 9.775 and 9.9 respectively.
The last time the Wildcats and Cougars faced each other was in 2003 at the Cat Classic in Missouri. There the Cougars came in fourth behind the University of Missouri, UNH and the University of Arizona because of falls. However, the Cougars came back and finished second in 2004.
After the meet in New Hampshire this weekend, BYU will get a break for one weekend and then continue on the road to Logan, Utah where they will compete against Utah State on Tuesday, February 1.