PROVO Though the BYU gymnastics team didn't bring its "A" game, it was able to hold things together and come away with a respectable 194.550-193.300 victory over Southern Utah University in the Marriott Center Friday night.
It was the Cougars' third-highest total of the season and will replace a 191.200 in the Regional Qualifying scores, which could vault them up several spots in the national rankings this weekend.
While the Cougars were steadily pounding out midrange scores with few highs and few lows, the Thunderbirds were in the midst of a roller-coaster meet. The T-Birds suffered three falls and several major breaks in routines, but they also put together six career or season highs.
Elise Wheeler popped a career-high 9.9 on vault, and her teammate Melissa Johnson added her own career-high 9.775 on the apparatus. A pair of Cougars, Dayna Smart-Allen and Alethea Boon, threw down 9.825s on vault, but none of the Cougars could seem to stick a landing. And those little problems continued throughout the night for BYU.
"I was hoping tonight we could have done more. We stuck, but we didn't really hit anything. It isn't something you can put your foot on, but it wasn't as crisp and clean as we would have liked," said BYU coach Brad Cattermole, who noted that the 194.550 still "beats the crap out of the score we're replacing."
He noted that the Cougar gymnasts were jumping out of vaults, not hitting their handstands on bars and suffering from minor bobbles on floor and beam.
The only Cougar that was able to connect with a season high was Kylee Draper-Marvin, who managed a 9.675 to tie her season best on the beam.
"We know where we're missing. Our game was not what we wanted, but we did the best we could when we weren't on our 'A' game. We did as well as we could with our 'B' or 'C' game. We need to do this kind of performance where we're sticking and do it with our 'A' game," said Cattermole, whose team turns around and takes on the Utah State Aggies Monday evening at 4 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse.
He has high hopes for coming away with a high score in that meet because his team typically does a better job on the second night of two meets that are scheduled so closely together.
Most of the Cougars are finally working their way back from injuries, but that doesn't preclude some odd injuries from popping up at difficult times during the season.
After leaving a class in dealing with orthopedic injuries last week, Boon fell down a flight of stairs and sprained her good ankle. She's been able to return to practice and competed in every event against the T-Birds, but she saw the injury as a little ironic as it happened just when she was feeling fully recovered from offseason surgery.
"We were a little rough around the edges. In workout we're on fire, now we just need to show it. We need to stop the little bobbles, like I normally don't fumble on that last tumbling pass," said Boon about the team's night.
She did note that Megan Donehue hit her bars routine, "like she knew she could do it in her sleep," and is hoping the rest of the squad can put it together on Monday. Donehue did score a 9.825 on bars.
Boon finished tied for first with SUU's Kellie Dangerfield in the all-around with 38.975 scores.
Dangerfield tumbled to a career-high 9.875 on beam and a season-high 9.85 on bars to help lead to that score. Freshman Jenna Vogt tied her career high on the four-inch apparatus with a 9.75, and Elise Wheeler put up a season-high 9.825 on the beam.