Gymnastics » T-birds hope to finish at least 2nd in four-way meet.
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Southern Utah's gymnastics team has been busy this season upgrading its routines to a difficulty level that coach Scott Bauman believes will make his team a strong contender for the WAC title.
Come Friday, when the Thunderbirds compete at Utah against the No. 1 Utes, BYU and Texas Woman's University, he is hoping his gymnasts can find a little consistency to go along with their higher skill level.
SUU, picked to finish second in the WAC behind defending champ Boise State, has earned everything from a 190.45 in the season opener to a 195.25 at home against Sacramento State.
If the T-birds can at least hit their average of 193.519 on Friday, they should be able to take second in the four-team meet and possibly push the Utes if they have an off night.
But rather than worrying about a placing, Bauman just wants a good showing for his young team.
"Our skill level is very good, we're just missing the consistency in our routines right now," he said. "Everything is fixable, but we still haven't had a meet where we haven't had a fall yet."
The T-birds are led by junior Elise Wheeler and senior Kellie Dangerfield , who are averaging a 39.156 and a 38.9 in the all-around, respectively.
In the rankings
The Utes took over the No. 1 spot in the rankings after the 197.05 they posted at Oregon State on Friday. It's the first time the Utes have been No. 1 since March 28, 2005. The Utes held the No. 1 spot for eight weeks that season before finishing third. Utah has finished second the last three years.
Utah's Kristina Baskett is ranked No. 3 in the vault (9.912), Daria Bijak is No. 3 in the uneven bars (9.894), Annie DiLuzio is No. 3 on the floor (9.881), Kyndal Robarts is No. 7 on the balance beam (9.875) and Nina Kim is No. 9 in the vault (9.881).
BYU on upswing?
The Cougars will find out Friday when they compete at Utah if two weeks off hurt the bit of momentum they seemed to gain with their season high of 190.65 they scored in a loss at San Jose State (192.375).
The Cougars' only all-arounder this season has been Danielle Goldman , whose season-high is 37.825.
Busy days ahead
Starting Friday, the Utes have three meets in seven days, competing at home on Friday, at Utah State on Monday and at Nebraska on Feb. 13.
1. Utah 196.7
2. UCLA 196.48
T3. Georgia 196.48
T3. Arkansas 196.48
5. Auburn 196.225
6. Stanford 196.1
7. Oklahoma 196.094
8. Florida 196.087
9. Alabama 196.075
10. Oregon State 195.635
11. LSU 195.38
12. Nebraska 195.187
13. Missouri 194.975
14. Illinois-Champaign 194.606
15. Penn State 194.556
16. Michigan 194.52
17. Ohio State 194.512
18. Minnesota 194.5
19. Denver 194.275
20. Iowa State 194.269
21. Arizona 194.169
22. West Virginia 194.119
23. Arizona State 194.05
24. Boise State 193.983
25. Iowa 193.931
Gymnastics rankings are in scoreboard, D3