Cougars Head To No. 1 UCLA For Regionals
As the No. 11 team in the country, the BYU gymnastics team has been selected to compete in the regional tournament at No. 1 UCLA on April 7.
The Bruins will be the No. 1 seed in the region with BYU at No. 2 and Oregon State at No. 3. California will be the No. 2 seed, Boise State will be No. 5 and Cal State Fullerton will be No. 6. San Jose State will be an alternate.
With two new school records in the last two weeks, the Cougars will be going into the meet with some confidence.
"We should be pretty confident," said BYU coach Brad Cattermole. "What they can't do is get too carried away with getting high scores. They just have too concentrate on hitting their routines and the scores will come."
The top two finishers in each region will advance to nationals on April 21 in Athens, Georgia.
Previous to this season, the Cougars had never surpassed the 197 mark and had only scored over a 196 three times. This season, they have scored over 197 in the final two meets and scored over a 196 in five different meets this year. Last week against Utah, BYU scored a 197.375 to set anew school record for the third time this year.
The Cougars, at 10-5 on the season, lost to the Utes as Utah also had a record night. The Utes tied the school record with a 197.925, including a 49.800 on the floor.
Kim Little is the only senior on this year's team. Little has been raising the standard for BYU gymnastics ever since she arrived as a freshman in 1998.
Fittingly, in her last home meet, she broke the school record on the floor routine with a 9.975, a record she had previously tied with a 9.950. Against Utah, Little set a career high in the all-around with a 39.475.
This season has been a record-setting season for the Cougars. The Cougars have set school records three different times, once against Missouri with a 196.900 and then against Utah State with a 197.325 and finally against Utah with a 197.375.
The Cougars have also set new team records on every event. They broke the previous vault record of 49.025, set in 1998, with a 49.100 against Missouri and Utah State. Then they broke that record again with a 49.175 against Utah.
On the bars, BYU scored a 49.475 against Missouri to break the old record of 49.300, set in 1999 against Southern Utah.
Against Utah State in Provo, the Cougars scored a 49.275 on the beam, breaking the old record of 49.150, set in 1993 against Utah State. Against Utah, the Cougars tied that record.
And, on the floor, the Cougars have set the record four times this season, scoring a 49.525 against Missouri and at Utah State, then breaking that record with a 49.575 against Utah State in Provo and again with a 49.625 against Utah. Kim Little also set a new school record on the floor with a 9.975 against Utah State.
BYU's Kelly Parkinson has set or tied a new school record in the all-around competition three times with a 39.550 against Southern Utah, tying her old record, then breaking her old record with a 39.625 against Utah State and then scoring another 39.625 against Utah.
The Cougars moved up from No. 12 to No. 11 in the rankings after last week's performance. Naturally, the Cougars would be seeded with the No. 2 team, Georgia, and Florida would go to UCLA. But, both Florida and UCLA were chosen as host schools earlier this year so the Cougars traded spots with Florida and are going to UCLA. Florida will be hosting, with Georgia as the No. 1 seed.
Unlike last year, three teams will be seeded to each region instead of only two. The three seeded teams will be placed in one of the six regions in the country. The three non-seeded teams in each region will be teams from that specific region. The top two teams in each region will advance to nationals held in Athens, Georgia on April 21.
Parkinson has participated in the all-around in every meet this year except at Utah State, where she only competed in the bars and beam, due to a sore back. In the last three meets, Parkinson has scored a 39.625 twice, breaking the old school record she set earlier this year of 39.550. Last week she broke the record again with a 39.675. Parkinson ranks No. 5 nationally.
Jeni Lopez and Kim Little have also competed in the all-around. Lopez competed in the first three meets with a high of 38.200 against Air Force and Little competed in the last five meets, setting a career-high of 39.475 against Utah in the last meet of the season.
April 7 at Los Angeles,California (University of California, Los Angeles)
2. Brigham Young
3. Oregon State
5. Boise State
6. Cal State Fullerton
Alt. - San Jose State
North Central Region
April 7 at Salt Lake City, Utah (University of Utah)
2. Iowa State
3. West Virginia
5. Utah State
6. Air Force
Alt. - Southern Utah
South Central Region
April 7 at Lincoln, Nebraska (University of Nebraska, Lincoln)
2. Penn State
6. Illinois State
Alt. - Illinois-Chicago
April 7 at Tuscaloosa, Alabama (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa)
2. Arizona State
4. Kent State
5. Ohio State
Alt. - Michigan State
April 7 at Ann Arbor, Michigan (University of Michigan)
4. New Hampshire
6. Rhode Island
Alt. - Pittsburgh
April 7 at Gainesville, Florida (University of Florida)
5. George Washington
6. North Carolina State
Alt. - Towson