By Stacie Searle
Losing by nearly one-and-a-half points, the 16th-ranked BYU gymnastics team earned a season-low score of 192.475 Friday, Jan 31, against the University of Kentucky”s score of 194.075.
A rough start on bars and vault kept the Cougars from scoring high.
“We just couldn”t get anything going tonight,” BYU head couch Brad Cattermole said in a press release. “We had some nice performances but we weren”t doing the little things you have to do to score.”
The team started out with two falls on bars, requiring the Cougars to use an 8.725 towards their total score of 47.60. Junior Brooke Haskett and Kentucky junior Julie Joy tied for second, earning 9.800. Junior Kari Lords followed close behind with 9.750, just not enough to catch up with Kentucky”s 48.575.
“I thought Kari did a nice job on bars-she hadn”t practiced all week and hit a pretty nice routine,” Cattermole said.
The Cougars then moved to vault, trailing by 1.725 points. Junior Megan Pessoa earned BYU”s top score of 9.750, but her performance was no match to Kentucky”s top four vaults, all career-high marks. Kentucky”s vault performance tied its school record set in 1996 against Florida. All four Kentucky vaulters scored 9.800 or above, and the vault competition ended with BYU scoring 47.950 and Kentucky 49.325.
Season lows in the first two events left the Cougars two points behind the Wildcats at 97.900 to 95.550.
The Cougars made a few gains on beam, scoring 48.250 to the Wildcats” 47.350. Numerous wobbles kept the Cougars from scoring higher. Lords led BYU with a 9.775, capturing second place. Close behind her, in third through fifth, were teammates junior Trisha Ashton with a 9.750, Haskett with a 9.675 and sophomore Kirsten Pauga with a 9.675.
BYU earned its best score of the night on floor, but still trailed Kentucky at 48.675 to 48.725. Haskett received a 9.900, placing second. Key team member Kari Lords was unable to compete on floor because of a sore neck.
Kentucky”s Aronda Primault won the all-around title, scoring a 39.050. BYU”s Butterfield took second with a score of 37.550 and Pauga finished fifth, coming in at 36.775.
“We have a young team,” Cattermole said. “We”ll put this behind us and hopefully do much better next week.”
The Cougars head to Columbia, Mo. for the Cat Classic Feb 7 and 8.