Anonymous | Posted: 1 Mar 2002 | Updated: 1 Mar 2002

BYU Suffers Loss to In-State Rival Utah

PROVO -- In a match-up of the top two gymnastics teams in the state, the Utah Utes knocked off the BYU women's gymnastics team 197.725-195.525. The Cougars could not overcome three falls on the balance beam and Utah's consistency and took their first loss in almost two months.

A couple of seniors led the Cougars to their final score, but it wasn't quite enough. Jeni Lopez gave a consistent effort and turned in her career-best score in the all-around, a 39.175. Teammate and two-time All-American Kelly Evanson had a chance to win the all-around, but stepped out of bounds on her final tumbling pass on floor. Her 39.400 was still good enough for third in the meet.

"We did some real good stuff and we did some not-so good stuff," head coach Brad Cattermole said. "We just need to stay on the equipment."

The problem equipment for the Cougars once again was the balance beam. BYU had three falls, and despite strong performances from the other three gymnasts, the Cougars were unable to recover. Not everyone had problems on the beam though, as Evanson notched her career-best score on the beam, a 9.925.

"For us to do well, we can't make these type of mistakes," Cattermole said. "Without those falls, we were right in it. It's too hard to make up for those mistakes though against Utah."

Utah also had trouble on the beam, but was hitting on all cylinders in every other event. Theresa Kulikowski won the all-around title with a 39.575. Utah had five all-around competitors and all five scored a 38.900 or better.

"Utah is a very good team, they always are," Cattermole said. "They struggled a bit on beam too, but they were strong enough to overcome their mistakes."

Evanson also tied her season-high on vault with a 9.875. Freshman Jaime Mabray tied her career-high on the bars with a 9.800, and scored a new career high on floor with a 9.875. Lopez tied a career high on bars with a 9.875. Brooke Craig also tied a career high, a 9.825 on balance beam.

"We're going to have to start hitting our routines or else it's going to be a short season," Cattermole said.

The Cougars will face Missouri at home on Saturday, Mar. 9. The meet was originally scheduled for 7 p.m., but will take place at 8 p.m. in the Smith Field House.