Gymnasts Floor Aggies with Season High
PROVO -- Setting numerous records in its secod home meet of the season, the No. 25 BYU women's gymnastics team scored a season-best 196.425, defeating instate-rival Utah State (195.250), Friday at the Marriott Center.
"It feels good to beat Utah State, but it doesn't matter who you beat," head coach Brad Cattermole said. "It matters what you score. That's how you get ranked."
The floor rotation, known as a strength for the Cougars, gave the team a lift as BYU was behind going to the final floor routine. Each of the gymnasts came alive on the floor exercises, with three scoring aboe 9.90.
Senior Kari Lords and junior Jaime Mabray tied for the top score in the floor at 9.950, as Lords secured BYU's top all-around score (39.0) behind Utah State's Alexandria Martin. Mabray tied her career best in the floor.
"Every meet they've been super strong on the floor," Cattermole said. "(Assistant coach) Dawn (Cattermole) is relentless. The team just doesn't make stupid mistakes. She won't let them."
The Cougars swept the top scores from each of the four events, with promising scores from freshman Marie-Helene Claveau. She recorded her career-best in the vault with an almost-perfect 9.975, registerd a career-best in her floor routine (9.900) and tied her best in the beam.
"The first score I saw was a 10 from the first judge, and I was a little surprised," Claveau said. "I thought, 'I can do this. I can vault."
Other Cougars breaking career marks were freshman Kacie Capra on the bars with a 9.925 score and sophomore Lisa Willis on the floor (9.900). Mabray also posted a season high on the vault (9.90) and tied her season best on the beam (9.875).
With the victory, the Cougars improved to 4-3 and will take on Boise State at home on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.
Cougars Challenge Utah State Friday in Provo
PROVO -- BYU gymnastics returns to the Marriott Center with renewed focus to challenge Utah State in the first of a series of home meets Friday at 7 p.m.
"Survival time is over," said Brad Cattermole, BYU head coach. "We're now approaching the 'perfection' part of the season."
Competition is no longer about landing individual performances, but about solid meets, hitting the routines as a whole, Cattermole said. The team is working hard at overall strength and consistency. Practices focus on perfecting the little details and eliminating technical errors.
"The girls are determined to get the big scores," he said. "If we hit like we're capable of doing, then we'll be fine."
The BYU line up will include Kari Lords, nationally ranked No. 2 on beam, and Jaime Mabray, BYU's all-around competitor. Cougar fans can also expect to see the Claveau twins, Genevieve and Marie-Helene, back in the line up, but Brogan Jocobsen may sit out pending a calf muscle she strained prior to the Cat Classic last week.
The team will take advantage of the home-meet situation to add many exhibition gymnasts to the line up. Cattermole said the Cougars have many talented gymnasts who have not had the opportunity to compete. Exhibition is a fun way for fans to see their potential and it gives them the experience without all the pressure.
"Instead of just the blood and guts, they also get the glory of being part of the team," he said.
Cattermole said the Cougars are looking strong, but will have to pull together to compete with the Aggies.
"Utah State doesn't get the respect they deserve," he said. "They stay focused, they perform well and they don't give up. We'll have to have a good meet to do well."
The Aggies are currently 1-3, coming off their first win of the season, against Southern Utah, 196.0-195.7.
The Cougars are currently 3-3, returning from the Cat Classic with a second place finish (196.125) against Missouri (197.350), Penn State (195.575) and Kentucky (194.25).
Tickets for Friday's meet are available at the BYU Ticket Office or by calling 800-322-BYU1 or 378-BYU1. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for senior citizens, BYU faculty, and students without an All-Sport Card; and $15 for a family pass. Admission is free to students with an All-Sport Card.
"Cowboy Night" is the promotion for the meet, as fans wearing hats, Wranglers and large belt buckles can win prizes. The meet will be televised on KBYU, channel 11, and on BYU Television, which is available nationally on the Dish Network and DirecTV.