Wildcats, Thunderbirds Invade Marriott Center

Sophomore Hayley Jensen will be one of many counted on to help the Cougars to a high score Friday night against Arizona and Southern Utah in the Marriott Center. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

Cougars Looking to Improve Regional Seeding

PROVO -- If back-to-back triangular meets weren't enough, the BYU gymnastics team will have one more when it plays host to No. 14 Arizona and in-state foe Southern Utah Friday in the Marriott Center.

With just two meets left, both of which are at home, BYU is looking to score high to improve its seeding when the NCAA Regional brackets are announced on April 2. The Cougars currently sit in the fifth spot in the North Central Region with the top six moving on to Regionals on April 14.

"We are getting some people back from injury," BYU coach Brad Cattermole said. "That will give us a better chance to get the scores we are looking for. We have to hit and be consistent like we are capable of. If we can get mid 195 to low 196, we'll have a chance to move up higher."

BYU holds a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 194.440 and is ranked No. 26 in the latest polls released by Troester Consulting Monday morning. The Cougars are ranked No. 17 on balance beam with Dayna Smart ranked No. 13 on the event. Alethea Boon is ranked No. 25 on vault.

Last week in Denver, Boon picked up the first all-around title of her career while helping BYU to its second-highest floor score of the season at 48.925. Smart had strong routines on both vault and floor, while Hayley Jensen recorded a career best on beam. Freshmen Heidi Poulson and Danielle Goldman also recorded career highs on floor.

Arizona comes into Friday's meet riding the momentum of a season-high 196.650 in a quad meet last week. The Wildcats boast an RQS of 195.855 and are led by Karin Wurm, Brittney Morgan, Miranda Russell and Danielle Hicks.

No. 34 SUU enters the meet also coming off a season-best performance last weekend. The Thunderbirds recorded a 195.175 in a victory against Boise State and are competing with Iowa and Utah State for the last spot in the North Central Regional. SUU has an RQS of 193.775 and is led by Leah Sakhitab, Elise Wheeeler, Shayla Garcia and Jess Langley.

Start time is scheduled for 7 p.m. The meet will be shown live on BYUTV, and live stats will be available on the women's gymnastics homepage at www.byucougars.com.

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