All totaled, 14 school records were broken, three more were tied and 14 personal career bests were bettered as BYU met Utah for the first time in six years in a dual women's gymnastics meet at the Huntsman Center Monday night. Both schools shattered team totals, Utah winning 192.80-189.05. Utah's record was 192.55, and BYU's was 186.30.
Adding to the excitement, Megan Marsden, wife of Utah Coach Greg, left the meet about 15 minutes before it started for the hospital, certain that the couple's first child was on the way two weeks early. Greg Marsden stayed through the meet but left immediately afterward.Ute senior Hilarie Portell reported Tuesday morning that the Marsdens did, indeed, become parents of a baby boy early Tuesday but said weight and name weren't yet available. Marsden told Portell "he looks just like Megan."
"That was pretty exciting; it kind of took our minds off warmups," said Utah sophomore Patti Massoels about Megan's early departure.
Massoels didn't win an event but scored career highs in vaulting (9.7) and floor (9.75) to win the all-around with 38.65, her best ever and tied for third in Ute history.
When assistant coach Megan left, "We all knew - some people saw it, and it all went down the line in 10 seconds," Massoels said, enjoying the memory.
Utah took most of last week off from training to study for finals; Massoels said that helped her. "I felt pretty strong; I didn't feel tired," she said.
Portell, in her final home dual, along with fellow senior Sonja Ahone, said she needed the time off mentally. She also had two career bests, 9.75 on bars and 9.7 on beam.
Portell wasn't emotional about her final home dual. "Why cry? It hasn't been a sad experience," she said.
Utah assistant coach Jim Stephenson called the time off "an experiment" and said it seemed to help everywhere but balance beam. He added Utah might do it again. "There was a lot of punch back in the legs," Stephenson said. "They came back motivated, like they missed practice."
Time off had been Utah's worry.
For BYU, it was how well it would respond to meeting No. 1-ranked Utah in front of 10,245 people. The answer? Beautifully.
"I'm happy with it," understated Coach Brad Cattermole about a night that included just three falls.
Cattermole sold his athletes on this meet being a good time. "It's fun, exciting, this is a great thing - get out and have fun," he'd said.
This time, performance matched potential. BYU would have hit 188 or so before "if we hadn't had to count 184 falls," Cattermole said.
The facts: Utah had event-scoring records on vault (48.30, old record 47.90), bars (48.70, 48.55) and floor (48.65, 48.60). BYU had team records in every event - 47.80 (47.30) vaulting, 47.30 (47.20) on bars, 47.0 (46.05) on beam and 46.95 (46.60) on floor.
Utah's Missy Marlowe had the night's highest score, 9.85 on bars, setting a school mark for the event. She was determined not to miss her second release move, as she had when she fell two weeks ago at home the first time she tried it.
There were five 9.8s in the meet. Three by Utah tied school records - Jessica Smith in vault and Kris Takahashi and Kristi Pinnick on floor. BYU's two were the best scores ever for the school in any event. Freshman Korie Jackman tied Smith with 9.8 in vault, and sophomore Marianne Williams won beam with 9.8.
That 9.8 in her final routine of the night gave Williams the best-ever all-around total for BYU, 38.0, breaking Jackman's 37.95 mark.
Utah broke five school records, tied three and had nine career bests, adding Shelly Schaerrer's 9.65 vault.
Brigham Young tallied eight school records and eight career bests. Other career highs included 9.6 (9.05) by Tammy Packard on beam, 9.5 (9.45) by Jackman on bars, 9.45 (9.4) by Sonja Lieder on bars and 9.35 (9.2) by Wendy Hutchings on floor.
Now what? They meet again in Provo on Saturday in the High Country Conference championships.