The Cougars recorded their best performance of the year on the uneven bars at San Jose State. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Season highs were the order of the day for the BYU gymnastics team as the Cougars posted their best score of the year with a 190.650 at San Jose State Friday. Freshman Krysten Koval paced BYU with a 9.800 on the balance beam while the uneven bars proved to be the strongest overall event for the Cougars, who turned in a combined score of 48.150 on the apparatus.
“I thought we made a lot of improvements in some important areas,” said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. “I was very pleased with our bars routines. We gave away some points on balance beam, but overall we did a great job. We’re slowly but surely getting there.”
The host Spartans led the way in the meet with a score of 192.375 while UC Davis also tallied a mark of 190.650. In addition to a season-best mark on the bars, BYU also posted season highs on the vault (47.950) and the floor exercise (47.575) as the Cougars showed all-around improvement in their third meet of the year.
Koval’s 9.800 on the beam was the high score of the meet for BYU, but the freshman also notched a team-high 9.750 on the vault followed by fellow newcomer Natalie Eyre and junior Danielle Goldman at 9.625. All six competitors on the uneven bars turned in solid marks ranging from 9.425 to a high of 9.675 turned in by junior Melissa Hough and sophomore Maddie Johnson.
Despite Koval’s performance, the balance beam proved to be the toughest event of the night for BYU as the Cougars were forced to count one fall. But the team quickly rebounded on the floor exercise led by Goldman’s score of 9.750. Goldman competed in the all-around for the second-straight week, bettering last week’s score by almost one point at 37.825.
Cougars recording season highs on the night included Holland Davis (9.550 – bars); Megan Donehue (9.650 – bars); Eyre (9.625 – vault); Goldman (9.600 – bars, 9.750 – floor, 37.825 – all-around); Hough (9.625 – floor); Koval (9.750 – vault, 9.425 – bars, 9.800 – beam); Jennifer Lezeu (9.375 – vault); Whitney Olsen (9.625 – floor); Emiko Ono – 9.500); and Jessica Villegas (8.825 – floor).
BYU will take two weeks off from competition before returning to action on Feb. 6 at Utah.