By DAVE HERSAM
The BYU women’s gymnasts struggled in their first meet of the season, but hope to use the poor showing as motivation to work even harder the rest of the season. The team lost to the Oregon State Beavers in a low-scoring meet, 191.800-187.625.
“Even if we had managed to win this meet with a low score, it would have been only a moral victory and not counted for much,” said Brad Cattermole, BYU head coach.
Cattermole explained that every gymnastics team has the primary goal of getting to the NCAA regional and national championships.
Teams are selected for regionals by the average of six meet scores: each team’s two best scores at home, two best scores away and two other top scores from anywhere. Early-season scores are generally not a team’s best.
Senior co-captain Angela Andersen said that although BYU has traditionally started off slowly and improved later in the season, a first-meet score this low has her a bit worried.
“I hope that everyone understands now how important it is to step up, hit our routines and be consistent,” she said.
Cattermole said that he couldn’t remember the team having this poor of a meet in the last seven or eight years, but also said that he’s not overly concerned.
“We can do a lot better,” he said. “There were a lot of goofy mistakes that we can avoid.”
Losing junior co-captain Erin Johnson to a torn ACL in her left knee took away probably the team’s second best scorer on the beam, Cattermole said.
Fellow co-captain Andersen agreed, but added that because Johnson may be out for the season the team may have to find a way to win without her.
On the floor, which was the Cougars’ lowest scoring event at 45.700, Andersen said it seemed that people just weren’t giving 100 percent.
“After not doing so well on the bars, we did pretty well on the vault and then seemed to let down our guard and maybe relax a bit,” she said. “Instead of trying to hit each routine, we seemed to be thinking, ‘Let’s see how this goes.'”
Freshman Angie Hickman, who competed in the vault and floor, said that the meet is no reflection of the team’s true abilities and potential.
“I think that we’ll just have a lot of determination to work hard in practice this week,” she said.
Before the team left Provo for Friday’s meet, Cattermole told the gymnasts to have fun without being funny. Now he says that instead of being a character, each gymnast will need to show some.
The Cougars will travel to Logan this Friday to take on Utah State before the first of this season’s two big meets with Utah Feb. 6 in Salt Lake City.