Utah gymnastics: Uneven bars not a worry for Utes

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Uneven bars, not the pesky ol' balance beam, has given Utah's second-ranked gymnastics team the most trouble in its last two meets. However, coach Greg Marsden said he wasn't concerned about some of the shaky routines or unclean landings, particularly after watching film of the Utes' performance on Friday.

Utah (11-1) earned a season-low 49.0 on the bars in the 197.075-196.000 win over No. 4 Florida, but Marsden said overall the performance was not only good, but in some ways better than other higher-scoring performances.

Jamie Deetscreek upgraded her routine, Daria Bijak 's was great until she missed her handstand, and freshman Stephanie McAllister had her best routine until she took a step on her dismount, Marsden said.

"It was kind of interesting," he said. "The things we had worked on, we improved on for the most part, but we made some uncharacteristic mistakes."

He is looking for those mistakes and others, such as steps on the vault landings, to be cleaned up when the Utes compete at BYU (4-14) on Friday.

"We haven't gotten back to being as relaxed and as sharp as we were when we took a week off, for whatever reason," he said.

Injury report

Daria Bijak , who competed only on bars and beam against Florida because of a left knee injury, said her knee wasn't feeling much better on Monday. The pain is originating from the patellar tendon.

"It just started hurting," she said. "It's frustrating because I can't control it. I don't know where it's coming from."

Marsden said Bijak would be day-to-day.

"We want her to give her best at regionals and championships but if she is feeling good, I don't want to intentionally take her out," he said.

In the rankings

Georgia remained at No. 1 with a regional qualifying score of 197.255, followed by the Utes (197.030), Stanford (196.825), LSU (196.760) and Alabama (196.720).

SUU is at No. 28 (194.870), Utah State is No. 47 (192.615) and BYU is No. 53 (191.690).

Utah's Kristina Baskett is No. 2 in the all-around (39.55) and fourth on the vault (9.925). Nina Kim is tied for fourth on the balance beam (9.9), Annie DiLuzio is tied for ninth on vault (9.9) and Bijak is ninth on the uneven bars (9.89).

Around the nation

While the Utes end the regular season at BYU on Friday, those teams with conference affiliations will be competing at their league championships.

Utah State and SUU compete in the WAC championships Saturday at Sacramento State.

A team to keep an eye on is Nebraska, currently ranked 12th as it heads into Saturday's Big 12 championship. The Huskers, who lost to UCLA, 196.625-195.850, host the NCAA Championships and need to improve if they want to compete on their own floor at nationals rather than just serve as hosts.


Top 25

1. Georgia 197.255

2. Utah 197.030

3. Stanford 196.825

4. LSU 196.760

5. Alabama 196.720

6. Florida 196.565

7. UCLA 196.480

8. Oklahoma 196.465

9. Arkansas 196.440

10. Oregon State 196.400

11. Auburn 196.390

12. Nebraska 196.030

13. Penn State 195.92

14. Missouri 195.895

15. Michigan 195.790

16. Illinois-Champaign 195.775

T17. Minnesota 195.525

T17. Ohio State 195.525

19. Arizona 195.280

20. West Virginia 195.275

21. Kent State 195.275

22. Kentucky 195.260

23. Boise State 195.215

24. Iowa State 195.130

25. Denver 195.075