Beam Boosts Cougars in Missouri
CAPE GIRARDEAU -- A strong finish on balance beam helped the No. 23 Cougar gymnasts top Southeast Missouri State on all four events and take away a 193.325-190.600 victory over the Redhawks Saturday afternoon.
"We did great on beam," BYU assistant head coach Dawn Cattermole said. "We just got off to a slow start on bars and did ok on vault and floor."
Bars proved to be slippery for the Cougars in the early going as they counted two falls on the event and produced their lowest event score of the season. BYU did come out with the top three places on the event with Aimee Walker-Pond taking home first-place honors behind a personal season-best 9.775. Freshman McKell Poulson and senior Lisa Wilis were right behind with a pair of 9.725s to tie for second place.
Cougar juniors Dayna Smart and Alethea Boon led the way for BYU on vault. Smart recorded a 9.775 to finish in first place on the event. Boon followed close behind at 9.700. Freshmen Danielle Goldman recorded a career-best 9.600.
The Cougars' senior duo of Kacie Capra-Callens and Willis took the top two spots on floor. Capra-Callens led the way at 9.800. Willis was right behind with a season-high 9.725. Freshman Kiki Berrett was also strong as she tumbled her way to the second-highest score of her career at 9.675.
BYU stuck their routines on balance beam, perhaps the toughest event in collegiate gymnastics, to end the afternoon. The Cougars recorded their second-highest score of the year with a 49.050.
Capra Callens got BYU off to a strong start on the apparatus with a season-best 9.850. Willis followed her with a career-high 9.875. After Boon chipped in a solid 9.775, Smart showed why she is ranked among the best beam workers in the country. The junior tied a season-best 9.900 to turn in the highest score of the afternoon and take first place. Freshman Kaylee Gallup finished the event for the Cougars with a 9.650.
Even with a fall on bars, Smart picked up her fourth all-around victory of the season with a 38.375. SEMO's Bryanna Wong was second at 37.775.
Despite competing half way across the country, a strong contingent of BYU fans showed up to cheer the Cougars in Cape Girardeau.
"The BYU fans really showed up and supported us well," Cattermole said. "That really helped lift us at times."
Up next for the Cougars is a showdown with in-state rival Southern Utah in Cedar City on Feb. 26.