The Cougars host No. 11 Cal Berkeley on Friday night at the Smith Fieldhouse in the BYU gymnastics team’s season home opener.
“This home opener is an alumni meet for us,” head coach Guard Young said. “We’re honoring the 1998 gymnastics team that went to the national championships, as well as the associate head coach at Cal Berkeley, Liz Crandall-Howell. It’s going to be a fun treat for us gymnastics nerds.”
The Cougars come into the meet after a loss to Utah last Friday, 197.000 to 194.275. Senior captain and floor specialist Kyleigh Greenlief led BYU with a 9.825 on floor, the highest score for the Cougars. Sophomore Shannon Hortman Evans took third in the all-around with a 38.900 after posting a 9.800 on both bars and floor. Five freshmen made their debut in the lineup: Abby Boden, Avery Bennett, Helody Cyrenne, Abbey Miner and Haley Pitou.
Despite the loss, Young remains optimistic for the coming season.
“This was a great start to the season. I liked our preparations coming in, I like my team and I like our chances. I think we can come away with a win this week,” Young said.
The Bears opened their season Monday in the NorCal Classic against No. 18 Stanford, Sacramento State, San Jose State and UC Davis. Cal Berkeley competed at nationals for the fourth-consecutive season last year and earned a No. 11 preseason ranking this year.
Several alumni will be honored at Friday's meet. BYU assistant coach Natalie Broekman and Young’s sister, Jessica Young, both competed on the 1998 team and upset No. 3 Utah, 196.050 to 195.975.
Elisabeth Crandall-Howell, the Bears’ associate head coach, was a two-time first-team All-American on the uneven bars as a BYU gymnast. During her time on the team, the Cougars qualified for three NCAA Championships from 1994-96. Crandall-Howell qualified for nationals on the individual level in 1993 and was the NCAA Regional uneven bars champion three of her four years at BYU.
The meet begins at 7 p.m. MST, at the Smith Fieldhouse. Tickets may be purchased at the Marriott Center ticket office by calling (801) 422-2981 or online. Live stats will also be available via StatBroadcast.