The Cougars hope to have plenty to cheer about in their season finale Friday against No. 2 Utah in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The BYU women’s gymnastics team will take the floor for the last time in the 2009 regular season this Friday at 7 p.m. The Cougars will wrap up the year in style hosting No. 2 Utah at the Marriott Center in a meet televised live by BYUTV.
“The Utah meet is always a fun meet,” said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. “Our team is looking forward to competing on Friday. It's been a challenging year with all the injuries with such a young team, but it's been a good year in that a lot of our gymnasts have gained valuable experience and we've grown together as a team.”
BYU has indeed had more than its share of injury issues as six Cougars suffered season-ending injuries or illness, including the team’s two co-captains. But several other gymnasts have stepped up to the plate, including several freshmen. Newcomer Jennifer Lezeu stood out last week at Utah State with two career highs. Lezeu posted her first personal best on the vault at 9.700. She followed that up with a 9.875 on the balance beam, helping BYU post its top score of the year on that event at 48.800. Lezeu also came just .025 short of tying her career high on the floor (9.725).
A stellar team performance on the balance beam last week helped BYU to a score of 191.975 last Friday at Utah State in another solid outing for the Cougars. However, the Aggies posted an overall tally of 193.825 to top BYU in the Cougars’ final road meet of the year. Three BYU gymnasts tallied career highs led by junior beam specialist Kaylee Gallup. Gallup used the four-inch apparatus to full advantage with a tremendous score of 9.925, the highest mark posted by any Cougar on any event this year.
The Cougars will have their work cut out for them against in-state rival and second-ranked Utah. The Utes have been strong all year, spending every week but one in the top two and enjoying three weeks as the nation’s No. 1 team. The Utes are No. 1 on floor, No. 2 on vault, No. 3 on bars and No. 4 on beam. Kristina Baskett checks in at No. 2 in the all-around, No. 2 on bars, No. 4 on vault and No. 13 on floor. Nina Kim is No. 12 in the all-around and No. 4 on beam; Annie DiLuzio is tied for No. 9 on vault and No. 20 on floor; Jamie Deetscreek is No. 20 in the all-around.
In addition to live coverage on BYUTV, live stats will also be available for Friday’s meet by going to the schedule page of the BYU women’s gymnastics homepage at www.byucougars.com/gymnastics_w.