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Gymnasts finish third in first meet of the year
SALT LAKE CITY – BYU gymnastics opened its 2014 season by scoring a 194.550 for a third-place finish at the Huntsman Center as part of the Deseret First Duel.
The Cougars finished behind No. 6 Utah’s 196.650 and No. 23 Boise State’s 195.850. Southern Utah scored a 192.025.
“We made some mistakes, it looked like we had first-meet jitters,” BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said. “We need to continue to improve and get better. We can stay with anybody if we hit our stuff.”
BYU placed two gymnasts in the top four in the entire meet for their all-around scores. Sophomore Makenzie Johnson scored a 39.00 and junior Raquel Willman finished with a 38.575.
Johnson scored a 9.70 on the beam to start the meet while sophomore Emily Vidmar and junior Megan Bain both recorded a 9.675. Ashley Follett and Summer Raymond rounded out the group to give the Cougars a 47.825, good for third place at the end of the first event.
On the floor exercise, three Cougars scored 9.800 or higher, led by senior Haylee Rollins who notched 9.850, the third-best finish by any gymnast at the meet. Willman and Johnson chipped in a 9.825 and 9.800, respectively.
The Cougars recorded multiple career-high scores on the vault as sophomore Madeline Nilsson finished with a 9.80 and junior KayCee Gassaway picked up a 9.875, both personal bests. Johnson tied her career high with a 9.875 to help BYU end with a 49.150 on the vault.
BYU finished with a 48.775 on the bars as Rollins led the team with a 9.825 followed closely by Eliane Kulczyk’s 9.80 mark. Willman added to the score as she notched a 9.775.
Up next, the Cougars travel to Idaho to compete against Boise State and Denver on Friday at 7 p.m. MST.
Cougars compete in Deseret First Duel Saturday
PROVO, Utah -- BYU women’s gymnastics opens its season this week with a quad meet with No. 6 Utah, No. 23 Boise State and Southern Utah at the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City at 7 p.m. MST. The meet marks another Deseret First Duel competition between the Utes and the Cougars.
“Utah represented our region last year in Nationals and will be good again this year,” BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said. “Boise State and Southern Utah are both very good teams. All of us have been in regionals several times so this should be a great opening event for us.”
Cattermole enters his 26th season as the head coach of the Cougars. Since becoming the head coach, he has guided the Cougars to eight NCAA Championship appearances and 22 NCAA Regional berths.
The Cougars averaged a 195.345 last season in five meets when competing against Utah, SUU or Boise State.
The 2014 BYU team features eight upperclassmen, six sophomore and nine freshmen. For more information on the season outlook, see the 2014 season preview.
The meet can be watched online at Pac12.com and live stats will be available at UtahUtes.com.