Cougar gymnasts on the road to take on Wildcats

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With disappointing performances against Denver last week, BYU’s women’s gymnastics team, now 1-4 on the season, is looking for a win on the road as the team competes against No. 15 Arizona today.

Injuries have hampered BYU’s ability to do well this season. A lot of talent was lost when sophomore Megan Bain suffered an injury to her Achilles in the meet against Utah. Before her injury, Bain was tied for No. 22 in the nation on balance beam and competed in three of four events for the Cougars.

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Raquel Willman performs on the beam during Saturday's meet against Boise State in the Smith Field House.
Despite the injuries and close losses, the team is still going strong.

“It’s really hard [to lose them] and you feel so bad for those girls,” senior Natalie Pickard said. “But we have to find ways to move forward.”

This week in practice, moving forward meant focusing on staying motivated and having great energy. This season, BYU often started out meets strong but faltered in events later in the rotation. In the meet against Denver, the Cougars and Pioneers were separated by one tenth of a point after the first two events, vault and bars, but BYU could not keep the momentum going.

Freshman Marguerite Lindstrom has been able to compete a few times this season because of her own hard work and injuries to her teammates. Head coach Brad Cattermole said those kinds of opportunities are both tough and exciting since some gymnasts get a chance who otherwise would not have. Lindstrom eventually hopes to compete in the all-around competition. Currently only sophomore Raquel Willman competes in all four events for BYU.

“I’m very excited [to be on] a great team,” Lindstrom said. “I just hope to be a great contributor.”

Pickard remains a rock for the team, putting up solid scores throughout the whole season. Though she puts up some of the highest scores the team sees, she also depends a lot on her teammates to keep her motivated.

“It’s always nice to see girls before you doing well,” Pickard said. “Good routines build on each other.”

Consistency and energy, though always important, will be even more crucial against a team like Arizona. Since the beginning of the season, the Wildcats have jumped up four spots in the national rankings to their current position of No. 15. The Wildcats also boast the No. 13 ranked floor performer in junior Aubree Cristello.

The women’s gymnastics team returns home to compete against Southern Utah and Utah State on Feb. 25.

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