After a month of off-balance beam routines, University of Utah's top-ranked Utes took apart their school record on beam, their last event, to kick the Utes into their second-highest team score ever in women's gymnastics.
Eighth-ranked Brigham Young also had its second-highest team score ever and became one of the few teams to beat Utah on uneven bars Saturday night in a packed Smith Fieldhouse in the final regular-season meet for both teams.Utah totaled 195.25 after a 49.1 on beam despite a fall, destroying the old school mark of 48.85.
BYU wound up with 193.55 after outdoing the Utes 48.7-48.4 on bars, where Utah ranks No. 1 nationally with a Regional Qualifying Score of 48.69 and high of 49.0. BYU's bars score was .05 off its school record, as was its team beam score, and it was with .2 of its other two event records.
The attendance of 4,188 - with 500 turned away - was a Y. gym record.
"With a crowd like this, how can you help but perform?" said BYU Coach Brad Cattermole, who got a career high from senior Heidi Radoff (9.7) on bars, a career best from Tammy Packard (9.75) on balance beam, career ties from Carrie Burk (9.75) on bars and floor and a tie by Christy McAdams (9.8) on vault.
"This was a fun meet," Cattermole said. "By no means are we in a class with the U. of U. - they're competing in a different strata - but we've gotten to the point we can compete with most teams in the country."
Seniors Radoff and Marianne Squires finished home careers nicely. Squires took third all-around to Utah's Kristen Kenoyer and Missy Marlowe, who tied with 39.3s, a career high for Kenoyer. Squires totaled 38.9 after a near-fall 9.65 on beam, usually her best event.
She had 9.9 on floor in her final event. "I'll just remember that and won't remember beam," she said.
Kenoyer seems to be making the same season-ending push she did last year. "I do well at the beginning of the season because I don't think, according to Greg (Coach Marsden)," she said, adding at midseason she thinks, then has to block things out again and quit analyzing.
Marsden said the Utes have had more training time lately, "and that's beginning to pay off." For a while it hurt, particularly on beam, because the Utes were tired, but now they're back. Kenoyer, he said, needs to train a lot.
Beam coach Megan Marsden said the improvement was due to mental gymnastics in practice. When one beamwalker fell in a meet, others did too. Psychological healing was needed, she said.
Meredith King started the Utes out with a career-high 9.65 on beam, and freshman Jenny Donaldson tied her career high with 9.85, as did Kenoyer and Marlowe with 9.9s. Senior Jessica Smith tied her career high on floor (9.8).
Both teams head to Albuquerque this week for the first Western Athletic Conference championships. For BYU, it's a chance to replace an away-meet score of 188.5 and take a jump in the RQS. BYU's other top scores are in the 190+ range. The RQS is the top five scores of the season, with at least two from away meets.