By Stacy Johnson
In a record setting night, twelve Cougars scored season highs and one Cougar scored two career highs as the No. 27 BYU gymnastics team defeated the No. 26 Utah State University Aggies in their home opener Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, in the Smith Fieldhouse. The 193.525-192.550 win takes the Cougars to 3-2 on the season.
Kylee Draper led the Cougars scoring two career highs, with a 9.825 on bars and a 9.775 on beam. Her performance proved to be one of the best of her career.
“I wasn”t really worried about my score,” Draper said. “I was just worried about my jump and what I needed to do for my routine and my event. I just happened to get a career high.”
The Cougars had an impressive start for the night on vault. Coming off last week”s foot injury, Dayna Smart took first in the event, scoring a season high 9.825.
Freshman Hayley Jensen also performed well on vault in her first home meet as a Cougar. Her 9.750 score was high enough to tie for third with USU”s Meagan Lewis.
The Cougars led the competition 48.750 to 48.075 going into the second rotation.
In the bars competition, the Cougars struggled, but came away with two gymnasts in the top five. Scoring a career high 9.825 Draper took first in the event. BYU”s Lisa Willis also had a good showing, winning a second place finish with her score of 9.725.
With these two impressive routines, the Cougars remained ahead going into the third rotation, although their lead had tightened to within 0.075 of a point.
In the third rotation, the Cougars entered what has historically been their best event, beam. When the Cougars faced the Aggies two weeks ago in Logan, the beam competition proved to be the strong point for the Cougars, and helped them seal the win.
The Cougars once again performed well on beam, with three Cougars recording individual high scores. Smart and Kandis Kelly tied for first in the event, both achieving season high scores of 9.875. Draper received a career high score, tying for second place with USU”s Liesel Kohler.
In the floor competition, the Cougars posted impressive scores, taking all of the top five places. Kacie Capra placed first in the event, with her 9.825 score leading them to the win.
The Aggies led in the all-around competition, with USU”s Lewis taking the top spot in that competition. The lone competitor for the Cougars in the all-around, Capra, finished third.
Head coach Brad Cattermole commended the performances of both Draper and Smart, saying they both worked hard for the success they found in the meet.
“Kylee and Dayna have worked their buns off,” Cattermole said. “They are best friends and they bust it everyday in workout. Nobody puts out more. They are all about the team and all about working as hard as they can.”
The Cougar”s next competition comes next week as they travel to Cedar City to take on Southern Utah on February 10.
“I think we are moving in the right direction,” Cattermole said. “We had the chance tonight to score really well, we just didn”t perform like you need to, to score real well. We”re going to have to work on a little mental training in the gym to see if we can”t perform better on bars next time.”