After a much-needed home victory, BYU’s women’s gymnastics team competes in nearly back-to-back road meets this weekend, competing in a quad meet in Texas on Saturday and in Logan against Utah State on Monday.
Just last week the Cougars snapped a four-meet losing streak, defeating both Utah State and Southern Utah. Things finally came together for BYU in the tri-meet as the gymnasts earned an overall team score of 194.100, their second highest of the season.
BYU now starts a three-meet road trip in Denton, Texas, competing against Texas Woman’s, Iowa and Southeast Missouri State. BYU’s toughest competition in Texas will be from the Hawkeyes, currently ranked No. 13 in the nation on bars. Though it holds a losing record overall, Iowa’s women’s gymnastics team has consistently scored 193 or above in all the meets this season. The Hawkeyes’ highest team score this season is 195.150.
BYU head coach Brad Cattermole is optimistic about the rest of the season and knows if the women transfer everything they do in practice to the meets, more success will come.
“We just keep plugging along,” Cattermole said.
Lately, vault has been the team’s strongest event and BYU is currently tied for No. 24 in the nation with a regional qualifying score of 48.775. Against Southern Utah and Utah State, BYU earned a season high 49.175 and all six of the gymnasts competing for BYU scored a 9.725 or above and four of the gymnasts scored a 9.825 or above.
Freshman Marguerite Lindstrom said the team has been working all week on keeping energy high and focusing on the little details so everyone can keep up the momentum gained in the meet against the Thunderbirds and the Aggies.
“Energy has been low at times [during meets] but we’ve been working on it and getting strong,” Lindstrom said.
Competing in a larger meet like the one in Texas on Saturday and having the meet against Utah State in Logan on Monday is different from what the team is used to. Usually the team prepares for a week before its next meet. Senior Mickell Merrell said the trick is to remain focused and just to “stay on top of things” because there can be a lot going on at one time.
After the meet against Southern Utah and Utah State, sophomore Raquel Willman said the team had more confidence going in because they edged out Southern Utah earlier in the season.
Over the last three meetings between BYU and USU, BYU has come out on top each time, with their most recent meeting.This same confidence is what the Cougars take to Logan. Merrell said the team is excited to take on Utah State again and to show even more people what BYU can do.
“It’s a fun place to compete and a lot of us have friends up there,” Merrell said.
BYU next competes away against No. 15 Auburn on March 16.