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Provo » When Utah's second-ranked gymnastics team has taken to the road this year, it hasn't left behind its capability to perform well.
That trend should be a comforting thought for the Utes, who finish the regular season tonight at BYU and will compete on the road in the NCAA regional championships on April 9 and in the NCAA Championships at Nebraska, April 16-18, provided they qualify for the event.
Not since 2000 have the Utes finished a season with three road meets, as they've either hosted BYU in the season finale or served as host for one of the postseason competitions.
The Utes often struggle with the adjustment from competing at home to the road, perhaps in part because the atmosphere on the road tends to be less intense than at home, where the Utes draw large crowds.
But dropoffs haven't happened this season, with the Utes averaging a score of 196.971 at home and 196.813 on the road.
Maintaining their focus is a priority for the Utes tonight and at the regional championships. The Utes find out where they'll be sent for regionals on Monday. Utah coach Greg Marsden has a hunch his team will go to the North Central regional at Iowa or the West regional at Washington.
"I can't imagine that either is going to be a rocking and rolling environment," he said. "But the way we have competed on the road has been a positive this year. In some ways we've been able to do even a better job on the road than home."
Marsden shouldn't worry about the Utes losing their intensity against a struggling BYU team, according to senior Kristina Baskett.
"We aren't going to let up for it because we want a good ending for the season," she said. "We want to get into that mentality of being on the road and competing on the road. We're taking this as a challenge to get ready for regionals and nationals. It'd be dumb if we didn't."
At the Marriott Center, Provo
Start » Tonight, 7 p.m.
TV » KBYU, BYUTV
Records » Utah 11-1, BYU 4-14
About the Utes » Have scored 197-plus for the last three meets. ... Ranked No. 1 on the floor (49.3). ... Have won the last 25 meets against the Cougars. ... Jamie Deetscreek is the only Ute without a fall this season (40-40).
About the Cougars » Have lost six gymnasts to season-ending injuries. ... All-arounders are Madeleine Johnson (38.525) and Danielle Goldman (38.25). ... Unranked but has a regional qualifying score of 191.69 and has a season high of 192.85, which came at Utah on Feb. 6.