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Utah gymnastics: Utes not dwelling on opening mistakes

Published January 14, 2013 3:54 pm

Utah gymnastics • The Utes dropped to No. 15 in the national rankings.
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Saturday's loss at UCLA left a lot to be desired for Utah's gymnastics team, which slipped from No. 5 to No. 15 in the national rankings after the 197.425-195.3 defeat.

However, the Utes aren't panicking too much as they prepare for Saturday's home opener against No. 20 SUU, No. 22 West Virginia and No. 23 Oregon State.

"It was the first meet of the year, so we expected to learn some things," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "We weren't quite expecting that to happen, to miss three of our bar routines since it's such a solid event for us, but I'm not overly concerned at this point. Unless we have issues with consistency, I think there were circumstances where we had first-meet jitters, and they will resolve themselves."

The Utes recovered after their poor start and were solid on the other events, if not at the level Marsden wants his team. The Utes' best event was the vault, where they scored a 49.25. It was the only event in which the Utes scored in Marsden's desired range.

"We have to be in the 49.2 to 49.3 range on every event if we expect to be among the best teams at the end of the season," he said. "We're not that far off on floor and vault, but I'm anxious to get back on bars and see where we are when we aren't counting falls."

Part of Utah's struggles on the beam, where it scored a 48.875, was the absence of sophomore Kassandra Lopez. She sat out the meet with a lower leg strain and may miss Saturday's meet too.

"She is getting better every day, but it's impossible to know how long it will take her to fully recover," Marsden said. "I don't want to put her out there and risk re-injuring it so early in the season. We want to take our time and make sure she goes out there healthy."

Becky Tutka competed in her place on the beam and scored a 9.75.

New format

Saturday's meet will feature a new format with each competitor competing one at a time instead of simultaneously. The format was changed so fans could see all the routines. Marsden estimates changing the format will lengthen the meet by only 15 minutes or so.

In the rankings

Georgia Dabritz is ranked No. 7 in the all-around and tied for eighth on the uneven bars. Tory Wilson, who earned her first event title with a 9.9 on the vault Saturday, is tied for eighth on the event. Corrie Lothrop is tied for 12th in the all-around. —

National rankings

1. UCLA 196.788

2. Michigan 196.738

3. Oklahoma 196.575

3. Florida 196.575

5. LSU 196.475

6. Alabama 196.45

7. Nebraska 196.3

8. Georgia 195.813

9. Arkansas 195.775

10. Stanford 195.725

11. Denver 196.65

12. Minnesota 195.55

13. Arizona 195.338

14. Kentucky 195.325

15. Utah 195.3

16. Central Mich. 195.013

17. Maryland 195.0

17. California 195.0

19. NC State 194.988

20. SUU 194.875

21. Ohio St. 194.8

22. West Virginia 194.675

23. Oregon St. 194.488

24. Auburn 194.438

25. BYU 194.275




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