Gymnasts Earn 11th Place National Finish
AUBURN -- Despite good performances and the will to win, the BYU Cougars were unable to land the scores they needed to advance to the Super Six finals, placing 11th at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships held Thursday at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on the Auburn University campus.
"Even though we didn't advance, I was thrilled we did as well as we did," said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. "I'm proud of our girls. We held in there and I know the kids wanted to do better."
The first day of the NCAA Championship competition was split into two sessions of six teams each, with the teams seeded according to their NCAA Regional score. BYU competed in the second session against five teams that finished the regular season ranked in the top 10. No. 2 UCLA and No. 4 Alabama earned seedings equal to their national rankings, while No. 5 Georgia was seeded 12th, No. 7 Florida ninth and No. 9 Iowa State eighth.
As a result of its strong performance at Regionals, BYU entered the NCAA Championships as the No. 7 seed after finishing the regular season ranked 13th. The meet was a first-time experience for all Cougar gymnasts, as BYU was making its first Nationals appearance in five years.
The night went well for the southern states as the University of Georgia finished first with 197.350, followed by UCLA with 197.025 and Alabama with 197.00. BYU finished in sixth place in the session with 194.625.
The Cougars began with a bye before moving to bars for their first event of the night. They had a strong night, but did have one fall. Freshman Kylee Draper had the highest BYU score with 9.75 followed by all-arounder Kacie Capra (9.725) and Genevieve Claveau (9.700). The team finished with 48.375, which had them in sixth place after two rounds.
Jaime Mabray led the Cougars out on beam, one of their strongest events. Mabray scored the team high 9.825. Dayna Smart followed with 9.775 and Kandis Kelly and Marie-Helene Claveau each scored 9.675. Their team beam score came to 48.700 with an overall team score of 97.125, keeping them in sixth place.
The Cougars had their second bye during the fourth rotation before their third event of the night on floor. The three all-arounders led the way with Mabray scoring 9.85 on her flour routine, followed by Marie-Helene Claveau at 9.825 and Kacie Capra at 9.800. The 48.950 on floor was the Cougars' highest score of the night, bringing the overall team score to 146.075 and a continued sixth-place standing.
On the sixth and final rotation, the Cougars finished the night with vault. Once again they were led by Mabray with a 9.825, followed by Kirsten Pauga with 9.775 and freshman Alethea Boon with 9.725. The Cougars vault score came to 48.550, giving the team a final total of 194.625.
"They (Cougar gymnasts) gave it their best shot," said Cattermole. "There are probably a dozen teams who want to be in our shoes right now."
BYU's score gave the Cougars an 11th-place national finish, just in front of Oklahoma. The Sooners finished the regular season ranked 10th before placing 12th Thursday. BYU also finished 11th in its last trip to the NCAA Championships in 2000.
Third-seed and No. 1-ranked Utah won the first session Thursday with a 196.850 score, while No. 8 Michigan (196.575), the fifth seed, and No. 6 Nebraska (195.875), the sixth seed, also advanced to join Georgia, UCLA and Alabama in Friday's Super Six competition for the 2005 NCAA title.
NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship
Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum
9) LSU 195.800
10)Penn State 194.975
7) Florida 196.225
8) Iowa State 195.975
*advance to Super Six finals Friday to determine 2005 NCAA Champions
Kylee Draper 9.750
Kacie Capra 9.725
Genevieve Claveau 9.700
Marie-Helene Claveau 9.650
Candace Bauer 9.600
Jaime Mabray 9.000
Jaime Mabray 9.825
Dayna Smart 9.775
Kacie Capra 9.750
Marie-Helene Claveau 9.675
Kandis Kelly 9.675
Candace Bauer 9.650
Jaime Mabray 9.850
Marie-Helene Claveau 9.825
Kacie Capra 9.800
Genevieve Claveau 9.750
Aletha Boone 9.725
Dayna Smart 9.550
Jaime Mabray 9.825
Kirsten Pauga 9.775
Aletha Boone 9.725
Marie-Helene Claveau 9.700
Kacie Capra 9.525
Dayna Smart 9.100
Marie-Helene Claveau 38.850
Kacie Capra 38.800
Jaime Mabray 38.500
Sophomores Mina Margraf and Eliza Millar received College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District honors, the…