The women’s gymnastics fell to No. 3 ranked Utah 197.550-194.450 in front of a sellout crowd on Friday night.
Earlier in the week, head coach Brad Cattermole said in a news release one of the best things about competing in Salt Lake City is the fact that there are always such great crowds. On Friday night it was standing room only as 15,310 people gathered in the Huntsman Center to watch BYU and Utah battle it out as part of the Deseret First Duel. It was actually the fourth largest crowd in Utah gymnastics history.
Utah boasts some of the best gymnasts in the nation, the team ranking No. 1 on floor and beam, making it a tough meet for BYU. Despite the challenge of facing one of the most talented teams in the nation, especially one with which BYU has such a competitive history, the team still put up good scores.
The team’s highest scoring event overall was vault, an event that has been a strength for the team throughout this season already. BYU’s total score was 48.925. All six of the gymnasts competing on vault for BYU scored a 9.700 or higher. Megan Bain, Racquel Willman and Natalie Pickard all achieved scores of 9.800.
BYU’s best individual results of the night came from senior Krysten Koval. Koval competed on balance beam, which is her specialty, and floor. Her score of 9.875 on beam put her in a three-way tie for second place and she scored a 9.825 on floor, leading the team in that event as well.
Koval’s love of competing on beam is apparent in her performances each time.
“There’s no better feeling being up there by yourself on four inches showing everyone what you can do,” Koval said. “I’ll smile on the beam, which a lot of people think is weird. Most girls hate it.”
As a team, the Cougars also competed well on the uneven bars, with five of the six gymnasts scoring a 9.700 or higher. Willman and Pickard led the team on that event, both scoring 9.825.
The Utes’ all-time record against the Cougars is now 88-2.
After three consecutive away meets to start the season, BYU’s first home meet of the 2012 season is against Boise State on this Saturday in the Smith Fieldhouse.