Columbia, Mo. (February 1, 2002) -- The BYU gymnastics team defended its championship at the 22nd annual State Farm Cat Classic, scoring a tournament record score of 194.950. The score was more than enough to beat out host Missouri, as well as Pittsburgh and Auburn.
"I'm very pleased with how well the kids are coming along," head coach Brad Cattermole said. "We're performing well for this early in the season. It was just a real solid meet."
Freshman Jaime Mabray, in only her third collegiate competition, led the Cougar gymnasts by taking second place in the all-around with a score of 39.225. Mabray finished only .025 points behind Missouri's Alisha Robinson, who won the all-around as a freshman. The 39.225 tied Kelly Parkinson-Evanson's cahmpionship score from a year ago.
"Jaime's a real competitor," Cattermole said. "She's really been doing her best gymnastics work in the meets."
Missouri finished in second place, with a score of 194.475. BYU would have won by a lot more, but in the final event of the night, balance beam, the Cougars had a few uncharacteristic falls.
"If it wasn't for a few falls on beam, we would have scored more than 196, which would be absoultely fantastic this early in the season," Cattermole said. "But I'm very happy with our score tonight. The kids hit when they had to."
The top-ten finishers in each event Friday night will compete in an individual competition Saturday night. The two-day format is run similar to NCAA Nationals, so BYU hopes its practice here will lead to better things at the end of the season.
"We have some things we can work on right now, but for this early in the season, I'm very happy with how the team is doing," Cattermole said.
PROVO -- Coming off an impressive early season victory at Oregon State, the BYU women's gymnastics team is looking to repeat as champions Friday and Saturday at the 22nd annual Cat Classic, hosted by the University of Missouri. Pittsburgh and Auburn will round out the four teams competing in the tournament.
The Cat Classic was kind to the Cougars last season, with BYU taking the title with a score of 193.600. Kelly Parkinson-Evanson led the Cougar charge, winning the all-around with the second-highest score in Cat Classic history (39.225). Head coach Brad Cattermole knows though that this year is different and the Cougars will face a stiff challenge from their opponents this weekend.
"Regardless of what their scores are so far this year, they are all good teams at this tournament," Cattermole said.
The Cat Classic format is much like NCAA Nationals, with the first day devoted to team competition and the second day reserved for individual event specialists. The top ten finishers in each event Friday night will compete in the individual competition the next night. Last season, Parkinson-Evanson took home two individual titles in addition to the all-around championship.
This will be the ninth time BYU has participated in the Cat Classic. The 2001 title is the Cougars' only championship at the event. Cattermole has a lot of confidence going into the meet after last week's performance at Oregon State. Cattermole and the rest of the team are definitely looking for another trophy to add to their collection.
"We're just going to have to stay focused and hit our routines," Cattermole said. "If we start missing, we are going to be beat. I know we are totally capable of hitting though."
Jeni Lopez will compete in the all-around again this week. She came through with a solid score against Oregon State and is expected to post good scores again. Mindi Hilton, who has finally overcome a shoulder injury, will compete for the first time in two years. Hilton is a bar specialist and will only compete in that event this weekend.