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It's Nationals for BYU Gymnastics


Salt Lake City (April 9, 2005) -- The No. 13 BYU gymnastics team is headed to Nationals after finishing second in the North Central Regional with 195.975.

No. 1 Utah finished first with 196.800 and No. 12 Oregon State took third with a close 195.675. Last year, BYU was in Oregon's position, falling only tenths of a point behind.

"Tonight was an amazing night for us," said head coach Brad Cattermole. "We couldn't have done much better."

Competitors at the Regional meet included No.1 Utah, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 13. BYU, No. 20 Minnesota, No. 22 Southern Utah, No. 36 Iowa with individual competitors from Air Force, Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Wisconsin-La Crosse.

The Cougars started the meet on floor, a characteristically strong event. Dayna Smart, who has only competed on floor once this season, started BYU off with a 9.700. Marie-Helene Claveau scored the team high of 9.875 for the night, which earned a fourth-place finish, followed by Jaime Mabray (9.850), and Kacie Capra (9.825). It was a great start for the all-arounders. The team finished the first round in second place with 48.925.

Moving on to vault, the gymnasts' strongest event, BYU did not disappoint. No. 21 ranked Claveau and Smart finished with 9.850. Their scores earned them a fourth-place finish. Seniors, Kirsten Pauga and Mabray finished next with 9.825. The Cougars proved why they are 10th in the nation finishing with a team-total 49.125. That score put them in first place after the second rotation. The Utes had to count a fall on beam, which moved them to second place.

BYU had a bye, along with Utah, before moving to bars. After three rotations, the Cougars were still in first. BYU had a good night on bars with strong routines and no falls. Candace Bauer and Capra were the team leaders this time, each scoring 9.775. Mabray scored the next highest with 9.725. Freshman Kylee Draper and Genevieve Claveau each scored 9.700. The overall score was 48.675.

After an outstanding floor performance by Utah and vault performance by Oregon State, BYU went in to the fifth rotation in third place. With beam as their last event, the Cougars ended strong. Both Marie-Helene Claveau and Smart finished with 9.900. Mabray had a high 9.875 and Kandis Kelly scored a 9.800. Mabray finished fourth, with Claveau and Smart tied for first place. The team finished overall with 49.250.

In the all-around, Marie-Helene Claveau finished fourth with 39.100. Mabray finished third with 39.275. Utah's Nicolle Ford (39.425) and Annabeth Eberle (39.625) took second and first.

Nationals will be at Auburn University in Alabama, April 19-23. This will be BYU's llth appearance at Nationals and its first since 2000.