In the women’s gymnastics team’s first home meet of 2012, BYU was defeated in a close match up with No. 16 Boise State, losing 195.750-194.750 on Saturday.
Before the meet even began, BYU had to overcome some injury challenges. Sophomore standout Megan Bain injured her Achilles the week before against Utah and she will be out for the rest of the season. Haylee Rollins and Holland Matheson were also dealing with injuries last week. Matheson was hurt during warm-ups Saturday’s meet against Boise State. It would have been her first time competing since the first meet of the season against N.C. State.
Head coach Brad Cattermole said the injuries have been the most unexpected part of this season so far, especially because they could not have been avoided even if the gymnasts had trained or performed differently. Despite these unavoidable setbacks, Cattermole remains optimistic about his team and knows they will “keep fighting.”
“The girls stepped up and did a good job today. I was pleased with the performances,” Cattermole said. “A lot of girls are getting opportunities to compete who might not have had the chance otherwise.”
The Cougars started the meet on the vault. Four of the six gymnasts competing on vault for BYU scored a 9.775 or higher. Senior captain Natalie Pickard led the team in that event with her score of 9.875.
Pickard performed great throughout the rest of the meet as well. She scored a 9.875 on bars, the highest for the team in that event, and later earned a 9.850 on beam.
The only gymnast to score higher than Pickard in any of the events was fellow senior Krysten Koval. Koval, who has been called “the beam queen,” scored a 9.900 on beam.
“In practice, I always like to perform like I’m the best because when you think that, you feel it,” Koval said. “I just think, ‘I own it.'”
Cattermole was especially pleased with Koval’s performance, saying she has been “a rock on beam” this whole season.
Koval also led BYU in floor exercises, scoring a 9.800 to finish off the meet and to give the Cougars their only advantage over the Broncos. BYU’s overall floor score was 48.825 to BSU’s 48.175.
BYU’s all-around competitor Raquel Willman scored a 39.200 for the meet, having solid performances in each of the events and scoring a 9.750 or above. Her top score came on bars, where she earned a score of 9.850.
Another solid competitor throughout the meet was junior Sarah Yandow. She scored a 9.775 on vault, bars and floor. Before the first meet of the season, Yandow said it was her goal to compete in all three of those events, after last year having just done vault and bars. In Saturday’s meet, she exemplified the consistency BYU needs to have a truly successful season.
Just being back home in Provo made the meet special, though. Koval explained how much the team loves competing in the Smith Fieldhouse because they “are so close to the fans and it’s like they are right there on the floor.”
BYU next competes at home in the Smith Fieldhouse against No. 15 Denver on Feb. 10.