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Provo » Daria Bijak , who competed only on the uneven bars and balance beam a week ago because of pain in her left knee, was back in the all-around Friday. Not only was her knee better, but so was her outlook as she scored a 39.525 in the all-around, to finish third in the all-around behind Kristina Baskett (39.65) and Nina Kim (39.575).
Her scores included career highs of 9.9 (vault) and 9.925 (floor).
She admitted afterward that she gets into the habit of trying too hard to be perfect, something the coaches reminded her this week not to do.
"I want to do everything as good as I can and I get caught up in that," she said. "I need to let it go and just relax."
It was the fifth time that Bijak has competed in the all-around.
"She is very competitive and she tries to do everything perfect," Marsden said. "We've told her she doesn't need to do that and just let it come to her and she did that tonight."
Relishing the memories
The Utes wore their special uniforms for BYU, which consisted of football stickers on their faces and their football jerseys when they weren't competing. Yep, it was another way of sticking it to the Cougars, Baskett said.
"We are so proud of our football team and how our school has done and we've taken a lot of inspiration and sayings from them," she said.
Good ending for BYU
The Cougars were happy with their score, their second-highest of the season, considering they've had six season-ending injuries.
Madeleine Johnson had a 38.775 in the all-around while Emiko Ono (9.85, vault) and Danielle Goldman (9.85, floor) had the highs for the Cougars for individual performances.
"It has been a tough year but a great year," BYU coach Brad Cattermole said. "We have had a lot of injuries, but our gymnasts stepped up when they had to."
The Utes find out Monday at noon where they'll go for the NCAA regional championships on April 4. The Utes are likely destined for the North Central region at Iowa, although the Utes still are holding out hopes that they could be sent to the West regional in Seattle which would be easier to get to for them.
The other region sites are Ohio State for the Central, Alabama for the Northeast, Arkansas for the South Central and North Carolina State for the Southeast.
The Utes bid to host the regional championships this season but were passed over. The last time the Utes hosted regionals was in 2005.