The BYU gymnasts are flying high heading to Southern Utah this week after a breakout performance last Friday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- For the second-straight week, the BYU women’s gymnastics team will face off against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on the road. After posting their highest score of the season last week in a quad meet that featured SUU along with No. 1 Utah and Texas Woman’s, the Cougars will take on the Thunderbirds this Friday at SUU (7 p.m.).
“We are looking forward to go to Southern Utah,” said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. “We started to see some good things during our meet at Utah last week. We are extremely young, but everyone is now starting to feel like they are capable of things that earlier they weren't as confident about. Hopefully we are starting to turn the corner and are heading in the right direction.”
The Cougars have every reason to feel confident heading into this week coming off their best performance of the year. BYU’s season-high score of 192.850 last week included top season marks of 49.100 on the vault and 48.100 on the floor.
Nine individuals posted career highs in at least one event led by freshman Krysten Koval, who bested her previous career marks in all three events in which she competed, and junior Megan Donehue. The team co-captain tallied career-high scores on the vault (9.875) and the balance beam (9.825) while recording a new season high on the uneven bars (9.725). She had the top Cougar score on the bars while tying for team-high honors on the beam and vault. She and Koval each posted a 9.875 on the vault on back-to-back runs, the highest score recorded by any Cougar on any event this year.
Several freshmen are also starting to find their way within a roster that features no seniors and more newcomers than sophomores and juniors combined. Six freshmen have competed for BYU this year as Emiko Ono, Holland Davis, Natalie Eyre, Jennifer Lezeu, Mickell Merrell and Koval have made significant contributions.
Southern Utah went almost two points better than the Cougars in the meet with a score of 194.325. Elise Wheeler had the top Thunderbird mark of the night with a 9.825 on the balance beam.
Friday’s competition will be the second of three meetings between the Cougars and Thunderbirds with the final faceoff scheduled for Feb. 27 at BYU. Live stats and live video will be available for this week’s meet and can be found by going to the schedule page of the BYU women’s gymnastics homepage at www.byucougars.com/gymnastics_w/.