This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
You could almost predict Utah's season-opening gymnastics meet was going to unfold the way it did Saturday. Take a bunch of young gymnasts, put them in some unfamiliar roles against one of the national title contenders and the atmosphere was ripe for bad things to happen. They did happen too as the Utes had three falls on the uneven bars, the opening event. The Utes went on to lose 197.425-195.3, but in reality, the loss wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. The Utes recovered from their poor start enough to post some respectable scores on other events. The high point was vault, where Utah was edged only 49.3-49.25. Tory Wilson tied for the event win with a 9.9. Afterward, Utah coach Greg Marsden noted the Utes 'had some work to do.' It will be interesting to see how this team develops with that work, particularly when they get some of the sidelined gymnasts back in the lineup. Notably absent Saturday was Kassandra Lopez, who was scheduled to compete on three events but sat out with a strained leg muscle. So do the Utes have what it takes to be a contender this year in the Pac-12 and beyond? UCLA certainly looks like the favorite in that department now. Utah, meanwhile, has improvement it needs to do both physically and mentally, junior Corrie Lothrop said. "Hopefully with this first meet under our belt we will relax and do better next week," Lothrop said. "We can only go up from here." - Lya Wodraska