Cougar gymnasts lose on the road in last meet of season

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After a long season of injuries, a few strong victories and plenty of close losses, BYU’s women’s gymnastics team ended its season with a loss to No. 14 Boise State.

Boise State defeated BYU 196.200-194.300 on Friday in Boise. It was the second time this season Boise State defeated BYU, though the first meet was much closer overall. Before the meet, coach Brad Cattermole explained how important it was for BYU to “hit [the] meet” and work hard in finishing off the 2012 season.

“It’s about getting a score, not wins or losses, because that is what will get us to regionals,” Cattermole said.

Despite the loss, BYU’s seniors made significant contributions, putting up some of their best scores of the season. Natalie Eyre-Pickard, Krysten Koval, Mickell Merrell and Jennifer Lezeu all put up strong scores in their events, exemplifying the poise and control needed to succeed.

Pickard scored above a 9.825 in all three of her events. She earned a 9.875 on vault and beam, and on bars she scored a 9.825.

Koval scored a 9.700 on vault but maintained her status as “beam queen” with a 9.900 on beam. Cattermole said in the past that Koval “acts like she owns [the beam]” and against the Broncos she did once again. Koval also earned a 9.900 on floor, breaking her season high of 9.850 and setting a career high.

This was Koval’s first year competing on floor and she performed consistently throughout the whole season. In her two events, Merrell scored a 9.800 on vault and 9.825 on floor, coming in behind only Pickard and Koval.

Lezeu, who has had a tougher time as the season winded down, put up her strongest performance of the night on beam with a 9.800, right behind Koval and Pickard. Lezeu also performed well on floor, scoring a 9.725.

However, BYU’s seniors could not carry the team completely as Boise State put up great numbers overall, showing the talent that has led them to a No. 14 ranking in the nation. The Broncos had at least one gymnast score a 9.900 or higher on all of the events except beam. Amy Glass and Brittany Potvin-Green both scored a 9.900 or higher on vault and bars. Green also earned a 9.950 on floor. Five of six gymnasts scored a 9.825 or higher on bars for Boise State as well. As it was the Broncos’ senior night, coach Tina Bird was proud of her seniors for everything they contributed.

“We are looking forward to what they will do at regionals and are so proud of them and the legacy they leave behind,” Bird said in a news release.

BYU’s best events of the night as a team were bars and floor, two events the Cougars have performed inconsistently in throughout the season. Cattermole expressed disappointment with the team’s performances in both events multiple times this season.

After BYU’s final home meet of the season against Southern Utah, Cattermole called bars BYU’s best event and explained how important it was for the team to do well on bars against Boise State. The team scored an overall 48.825 on bars as well as on floor.

Coming in behind Pickard on bars was sophomore KayCee Gassaway with a 9.825 and right behind her was junior Sarah Yandow with a 9.800. Lezeu also put up a 9.700 on bars, a great improvement from the previous meet against SUU as Lezeu counted a fall.

On floor, sophomore all-around competitor Raquel Willman rounded out BYU’s top scorers and had her best performance of the night, scoring a 9.800.

BYU is currently in sixth place in the North Central region and finds out if it qualified for regionals Monday afternoon. NCAA regional competitions take place on April 7.

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