After winning their first meet of the season against Michigan (196.625-195.525), the Red Rocks will compete in their first road meet this Friday, Jan. 13 against in-state rival BYU.
Junior co-captain Maddy Stover feels that the past meet against Michigan should be a huge confidence booster for everyone on the team, from the upperclassmen to the young ones. It impressed Baely Rowe and Stover to see their team, especially with it being so young, that everyone had a calm, cool and collected demeanor going into the meet.
“Everybody was so composed,” Stover said. “Sometimes you get tensions high and stress is high, but everyone looked and felt like they were ready.”
Going into BYU, Stover said that it’s always fun to compete in the rivalry. However, she thinks all they need to do is carry over the performances they had from this past Saturday and build upon those. She also thinks the team needs to build its confidence and fix the little things that they always strive to improve on, and she wants the team to finish with a higher score.
“I think little details here are what is going to separate us technically — higher jumps and amplitude on beam, stronger landings on vault, hitting handstands on bars — these are things we will always be striving for and working for,” Stover said. “I also think just working on our presentation and really showing off the gymnastics that everyone is fully equipped to do, and just putting on more of a show.”
For 15 meets, the Red Rocks have beaten the Cougars in Provo, Utah, since 1998. Though the Utes have an impressive record against BYU, co-head coach Megan Marsden won’t put it past the team.
Understanding that BYU’s ranking may be quite a bit different from the Utes, Marsden knows that it doesn’t mean on a given night that if the Red Rocks falter a little bit, things can turn out differently so Marsden and the team won’t overlook the Cougars.
“We certainly need to be ready to improve on this past weekend if we want to have good win over BYU,” Marsden said. “So that will be talked about this wee, and we will approach it like that. It doesn’t matter what the rankings are, it doesn’t matter who the team is, we just need to be ready to compete.”
However, Marsden feels that it will be more difficult for the team on someone else’s floor, because the girls will have to adjust to other equipment and other surroundings. However, Marsden is confident that after a quick warm up and some talking to, the team will adjust as needed to win the meet.
Adding to her thoughts about the meet, Marsden said that she is excited for the locals to go closer to home and have some of their teammates in the stand. And what she loves the most is when Utah fans travel down and follow the team.
“We love that because it puts a lot of red and blue together, battling it out, not only on the floor but in the stands,” Marsden said. “That is what collegiate gymnastics is all about — school rivalries and competing against another school.”
The meet is set to begin at 7 p.m.