BYU Campus

An aerial view of the Brigham Young University campus.

Mark Philbrick, BYU

SALT LAKE CITY — BYU gymnastics fell to No. 5 Utah 197.000 to 194.275 in the Deseret First Duel Friday night at the Huntsman Center.

“We came up here to a great environment with great gymnastics fans,” BYU head coach Guard Young said. “With a national-caliber team like Utah, you can't have any mistakes.”

To begin the meet, the Cougars posted a 47.900 on uneven bars, led by a 9.800 from sophomore Shannon Hortman Evans. Captain Brittni Hawes added a 9.750 while Natasha Trejo Marsh recorded a 9.675. Two falls on the event proved costly as the team fell behind the Utes, 49.325 to 47.900.

BYU moved to vault for the second rotation, earning a 48.775 behind captain Mackenzie Douglas’ 9.800. Evans, Avery Bennett and captain Jill van Mierlo each scored a 9.750 while Angel Zhong contributed a 9.725. Utah extended its lead, 98.650 to 96.675.

In their highest event score of the meet, the Cougars posted a 48.900 on floor. Captain and floor specialist Kyleigh Greenlief led BYU with a 9.825, followed by a 9.800 from Evans and a 9.775 from Douglas. The Utes maintained their lead, 147.625 to 145.575.

In the fourth and final rotation, van Mierlo anchored the Cougars on beam with a 9.800 in the team’s final routine. Hannah Miller and Marsh both added scores of 9.775. Abby Boden also recorded a 9.725 on the event. Utah posted its highest event in the final rotation with a 49.375 on floor, taking home the victory 197.000 to 194.275.

BYU returns to Provo for its home season opener against California on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Fieldhouse. The Bears’ associate head coach, Elisabeth Crandall-Howell, is a former BYU gymnast and two-time first-team All-American on the uneven bars. Her contributions helped the Cougars qualify for three NCAA Championships from 1994-96 after she qualified on the individual level in 1993. Additionally, Crandall-Howell was the NCAA Regional uneven bars champion three of her four years at BYU.