There are few sports besides gymnastics, if any, that include continual action and music in such different ways. Gymnastics meets are kind of like a constant party, yet so few people at BYU take advantage of the opportunity to watch these gymnasts do what they do best.
BYU’s women’s gymnastics team, 1-3 on the season so far, takes on No. 17 Denver on Feb. 10 in the Smith Fieldhouse. Here are 10 reasons to be there:
1. It’s not something you see every day. For as popular as gymnastics is during the the summer Olympics, most people don’t think to watch it live. Senior Mickell Merrell said gymnastics isn’t like most other sports because “you can’t just start doing gymnastics” like one might do with basketball. What these women do really is special.
2. Improvements are visible. Head coach Brad Cattermole said one of the greatest things about gymnastics as a sport is the fact that gymnasts really do improve from meet to meet and even more throughout the whole season. And everyone can tell.
“It’s something you work really hard for,” Merrell said.
3. It’s inexpensive. Individual student tickets are $5 and All-Sport cards are accepted for admission as well.
4. There’s always something going on. For example, if BYU starts on vault and its opponent starts on bars, the time between one gymnast’s vault and another gymnast’s performance on bars is less than one minute. Music is always playing to keep things lively.
5. The gymnasts are talented. Despite a single victory this season, the team is competing well. Before injuring her achilles in the meet against Utah, sophomore Megan Bain was tied for No. 22 in the nation on beam with an average score of 9.825. Other Cougars in the top 50 include senior Natalie Pickard, who is tied for No. 30 in the nation on bars with an average score of 9.825, and sophomore KayCee Gassaway, who is No. 37 in the all-around with an average score of 39.025.
6. Meets move quickly. With three minutes between events to warm up and often mere seconds between routines, there is little downtime. Meets generally last two hours and always give the fans something to watch.
7. Free T-shirts. They throw out a number of these during the meet, and who doesn’t want a free shirt?
8. Fans are right in the action. No matter where people sit, they are in good position to see plenty of twists, turns and flips throughout the entire meet. There aren’t many other places where the spectators get to be as close as they are with the Smith Fieldhouse. Senior Krysten Koval loves how close the home crowd is and how good it feels to perform in such an intimate setting.
9. There’s not much else going on sports-wise. The only other home sporting event tonight is a diving meet, so even if one were to attend that meet in the Richards Building, the Smith Fieldhouse is right next door, ready and waiting.
10. Plain and simple, gymnastics meets are fun. As excited as the gymnasts are to show off what they can do, watching them perform is exciting as well. Gymnastics is just, well, cool.
“How often do you get to see people doing what we do?” Merrell asked.
The meet starts at 7 p.m. and will also be broadcast on BYUtv. The women’s gymnastics team heads back on the road to compete against Arizona on Feb. 17.