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Y. records 1st full-meet win over legendary U. gym team

SHARE Y. records 1st full-meet win over legendary U. gym team

BYU gymnastics coach Brad Cattermole took the scoresheet in hand following the meet and did what he's always done before.

"I looked at the score, and I thought they'd beaten us by a tenth or so," said Cattermole, in his 10th year."And then I looked up and I thought, `That's Utah.' "

It finally sank in that, for the first time in a complete meet, BYU had beaten the legendary Utes.

The 196.05 belonged to BYU. The 195.9750 belonged to Utah. The .075 difference in the balance was on the Cougar side of the fence Saturday night in the Marriott Center as the two teams completed the regular season.

It was a third loss for Utah, and it's been 10 years since the Utes have had that many. The fourth-ranked Utes are 7-3. BYU finished at the same 7-3, and they're now 2-58 against Utah. The other Cougar win (194.125-125.80) came in 1994 when Utah coach Greg Marsden pulled his team off the floor after 21/2 events in a dispute with the meet referee.

Both will compete next at the NCAA Midwest Regional at Arizona State April 4.

"I always kinda thought that if the day ever came that we beat Utah - it's taken a long time, and, yeah, it wasn't nationals - I always wanted it to be a meet when they didn't have to count a fall and we didn't have to count a fall," said Cattermole, whose team was having its 10-year reunion party this weekend with many past gymnasts present to see perhaps the biggest win in Cougar history.

"Greg was very gracious," added Cattermole. "He congratulated us and said, `It's kinda fun, isn't it?' "

"I'm happy for them," said Marsden about Cougar coaches Brad and Dawn Cattermole. "They've done a great job, and this is a nice win for them, and they deserve it."

Marsden's Ute program is still the country's most successful, having 10 national titles, three times as many as anyone else. It was Utah's first defeat in the state in a complete regular-season meet since 1979.

It was only about half a Ute team competing Saturday. Theresa Wolf was out with a bruised heel, Angie Leonard missed the final two events with shin problems and Sarah Northrop did just one event because she sprained both knees last week. The Utes are also minus two-time defending NCAA beam champion Summer Reid, no longer with the team.

Marsden said that, although he hates losing to a rival, especially for the inevitable first time, he felt nowhere near as badly as he did last year at the NCAAs when Utah was seventh, its lowest finish since 1977. "Oh, no. I wouldn't even compare it to that," he said, noting Utah actually had a good meet and rarely used performers like Marilyn Ekdahl, Angelika Schatton and Ashley Kever subbed well for the injured. "Some people really stepped up," he said. "We fought back, but we made too many mistakes."

It came down to the final performers in the final event. The teams were tied after 23 routines. Utah had scored 48.975 on bars, BYU 48.825 on vault in the first event. Utah hit a 48.825 vault while BYU was 48.95 on bars. The Utes did 49.125 on floor while BYU hit a sharp 49.10 on beam. Utah totaled 49.05 on beam to BYU's 49.175 on floor in the final events of the night.

BYU, inconsistent all season on beam, probably won it there. Utah can be one of the country's best or most inconsistent beam teams. Saturday was a little above average but not enough.

The Utes stayed on beam until their fifth performer, freshman Shannon Bowles, nose-dived off, leaving it up to senior Traci Sommer, who scored a 10.0 in her last meet last week on beam. Sommer scored 9.875 and said it was in no way as good a routine as she'd done for the 10, though there was just one visible and slight wobble.

Cougar senior Angela Andersen was the last one standing, the one who carried the meet's outcome, even if she didn't know it, even if she'd been the one Cougar to fall from the beam (her score didn't count). In her final appearance in Utah, after three Y. seasons and one at Southern Utah, Andersen tied her career high on floor, 9.95, winning the meet. She was glad she'd had no idea the meet was so close.

Fellow Cougar senior Janene Christensen Lay was the all-around winner at 39.075, while Utes Bowles and Denise Jones tied for second with 39.05s.

Jones, of Sacramento, Calif., hasn't seen a lot of this rivalry. "I still know it's extremely disappointing," she said. But like Marsden, she saw good in Utah's performance. "I know that our goal for this meet was to come out and be aggressive when we performed, and I think we did that. We weren't holding back. It's extremely disappointing it didn't pay off," she said.

"I think we had a very good meet," said Sommer. "I don't know where that many deductions came in the score, but we have to overlook that."