By Ashli Hansen
Going into the final rotation of Saturday”s meet, April 6, the BYU gymnastics team had a shot at second place and a trip to nationals. But the Cougars couldn”t quite pull off the upset.
The Cougars trailed second-place Arizona by three-tenths of a point, but Arizona turned in a strong beam performance to secure the second spot at nationals.
“Tonight it just wasn”t to be,” head coach Brad Cattermole said.
The team ended its season Saturday night, April 6 when it narrowly missed qualifying for Nationals. The Cougars came in fourth with a 194.000 at the NCAA South Central Regional in Tempe, Arizona. The top two teams qualify for Nationals.
The No. 17 Cougars finished behind top-ranked favorite UCLA, No. 12 Arizona, and home team No. 18 Arizona State.
UCLA and Arizona will head to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the NCAA National Championships.
The Bruins scored an impressive 197.425, leaving the other teams to battle it out for second place.
“ASU and U of A are really solid teams and we knew were going to have to have a good meet to knock them off,” Cattermole said.
The Cougars were led by freshman Jaime Mabray who tied for fifth in the all-around. Her score of 38.900 nearly qualified her for nationals, but they lost in a tiebreaker procedure that took into account the highest event score for each individual. Mabray had 9.800, but ASU”s Laura Moon had a 9.825.
The Cougars began the meet on the uneven bars and were unable to regain the consistency they had on the event just several weeks before. The team scored 48.125, with usually consistent seniors Kelly Evanson falling on her dismount and Jeni Lopez taking an extra swing.
Junior Brooke Craig and sophomore Kari Dye tied for a team high score of 9.725. Mabry scored a 9.700, while junior Lindsay Lines added a 9.675.
“We struggled a little bit on bars,” head coach Brad Cattermole said. “Then I knew we were going to have to get on a roll and we just never did.”
The Cougars bounced back on the balance beam and turned in a consistent effort. Evanson led the team with a solid 9.825. Mabray added a 9.800, while Dye turned in a 9.775. Lines was also consistent in front of her home state crowd to add a solid 9.725.
After hitting their floor routines, the Cougars found themselves in second place with only the vault remaining. But a team score of 48.500 wasn”t enough to overtake the Wildcats.
The Cougars fought hard but never quite found the groove they were looking for.
“It wasn”t as if we were out of the game,” Cattermole said. “We just never got on the roll we needed to.”
Junior co-captain Brooke Craig returned to the line-up to compete for the Cougars. The Arizona native suffered a slight concussion and sore back in an accident during the bars warm-up of the Utah meet. But she came back to compete in three events for the team.