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Utah gymnastics: With Pac-12 meet ahead, Utes move on quickly from Georgia loss

Published March 14, 2017 7:50 pm

Utah gymnastics • Marsden says 'the best team' won in Athens, but she doesn't expect the hangover will last
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To finish the regular season with a loss at Georgia certainly stung Utah's gymnastics team, but the Utes are far from slipping into any kind of panic mode as they prepare for the Pac-12 Championships hosted by Stanford on Saturday.

The Utes suffered some of their lowest event scores of the season in the 197.25-196.65 loss to Georgia, but Utah coach Megan Marsden chalked up the loss to a combination of the hoopla of Senior/Alumni night for the Gymdogs and an off night by the Utes.

The Utes had a fall on the bars and floor. While neither score counted, the mistakes prevented the Utes from getting their normal big scores.

"We knew we were going into a situation where we had to be our best on every routine and every event to expect to win and we made some mistakes," Marsden said. "It probably should have been closer, but we were not the best team on that night."

Rather than worrying about the loss or what the implication might be for the regional and national championships, Marsden said her team would keep its focus on the Pac-12 Championships.

The Utes won the title in 2014 and 2015 and finished second to UCLA last year.

Utah beat the Bruins 197.875-197.5 three weeks ago, but the Bruins have since been on a tear and have climbed to the No. 3 ranking with a 197.5 regional qualifying score.

The Utes remain in fifth with a 197.355 average.

"The girls have been pointing toward this post-season all year long and they know they have to be at their best again on Saturday," Marsden said. "We'll talk a bit about what happened at Georgia, but we want them to move forward quickly and address what we can in training to improve ourselves."

New order

The Utes will start Saturday's competition on the uneven bars since UCLA, the top seed, selected to start its competition on the vault.

In the past the rotations were decided randomly, but the coaches voted to change the system so the teams pick their rotations with the top seed getting first selection after the Utes were dealt the task of starting on balance beam last year as the top seed.

"We decided it was best to let the teams decide," Marsden said.

The Utes will go with the bars because it is the rotation they use for road meets.

"We've done it quite a bit so we thought it was the best order for us," Marsden said.

In the rankings

The Utes remained in fifth place with a 197.355 average while Oklahoma remained No. 1 with a 198.00, followed by LSU (197.785), UCLA (197.5) and Florida (197.495).

Other Pac-12 teams in the rankings are Oregon State at No. 10 (196.875), No. 15 Washington (196.48) and No. 16 Cal (196.4).

MyKayla Skinner is second in the all-around (39.65), eighth in the vault (9.915) and third in the floor (9.95). Baely Rowe is ninth in the all-around (39.485). —

The Top 25

1. Oklahoma 198.00

2. LSU 197.785

3. UCLA 197.5

4. Florida 197.495

5. Utah 197.355

6. Alabama 197.285

7. Denver 197.04

8. Georgia 197.005

9. Michigan 196.88

10. Oregon St. 196.875

11. Boise St. 196.835

12. Kentucky 196.75

13. Nebraska 196.64

14. Missouri 196.54

15. Washington 196.48

16. Iowa 196.4

16. California 196.4

18. George Wash. 196.305

19. SUU 196.3

20. Illinois 196.245

21. Auburn 196.135

22. West Virginia 195.92

23. Utah St. 195.83

24. Ohio St. 195.815

25. Eastern Michigan 195.805

Utah at the Pac-12 chamionships

Saturday, 2 p.m.

At Palo Alto. Calif.

TV • Pac-12 Network






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