By Stacie Searle
The No. 22-ranked BYU Cougar gymnastics team will face a tough three-meet schedule this week, starting with the No. 23 Missouri Tigers Friday, March 21, at 7 in the Marriott Center.
“That”s just the nature of the sport,” said coach Brad Cattermole. “They need to be ready for Missouri. Missouri is a very good team.”
The Cougars will head to Cedar City on Monday, March 24, to face Southern Utah. The gymnasts will return to Provo to host Utah on Friday, March 28 in the Marriott Center.
“The concern at this point in time is executing your routines and doing them the best you can,” Cattermole said. “That”s what gets the kind of scores that will help you with regional and national seeding.”
Cattermole said the girls are working on finite motor skills.
“We”re down to the point where they either know it, or they don”t,” Cattermole said. “At this time of year, rest is as big of a deal as anything. Workouts become more mentally taxing than physically taxing.”
Freshman Lisa Willis said she is ready to face the Tigers.
“I”ve been trying to work on consistency and not getting nervous for the meet,” Willis said. “Staying calm under pressure, and just working on doing what I do everyday in practice.”
Cattermole said it is nice to have a freshman that is consistent. Willis is usually first in the line-up because she always hits.
“It”s hard on the team when the first person falls,” Cattermole said. “So there tends to be a lot of pressure placed on the first person up.”
Willis said she likes going first. She doesn”t feel like there is a lot of additional pressure. She said she likes being able to cheer for her teammates without worrying about her upcoming routine.
The Cougars are coming off an amazing performance against the previously nationally-ranked No. 10 Oregon Beavers. The Cougars defeated the Beavers 196.775-193.325 on Saturday.
Cougar sophomore Jamie Mabray led the Cougars in the all-around to take first, with senior Lindsay Butterfield capturing second, and sophomore Kirsten Pauga capturing third.
The Cougars also received a team season-high score on vault and beam. Junior Trisha Ashton secured first place with a score of 9.925, leading the Cougars to a team score of 49.275 on the vault. Ashton continued with a solid performance on beam, scoring a 9.925, guiding the Cougars to a team score of 49.200.
The Cougars faced the Tigers for the first time this season at the State Farm Cat Classic competition at the University of Missouri Feb. 7-8. The Cougars struggled on beam and bars with numerous falls, allowing the Tigers to defeat the Cougars 195.875-192.850.
The Tigers are coming off a strong performance against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Tiger gymnast Alisha Robinson took the all-around competition with a season-high score of 39.425, leading her team a 195.875-195.375 win.