Gymnastics: Kupets bests Baskett for all-around
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Kristina Baskett's collegiate gymnastics career ends without an individual all-around title, but at least she can take comfort in knowing she lost it to one of the best gymnasts the sport has ever seen.

The 2009 NCAA all-around title was won by Georgia's Courtney Kupets on Thursday with the senior scoring a 39.8 to become the first gymnast since Kentucky's Jenny Hansen (1993-95) to win three NCAA all-around titles.

Her mark also tied Hansen's NCAA record high score for the all-around winner, set in 1995.

Baskett was second with a 39.6, not that she was thinking about the all-around Thursday after the Utes barely qualified for the Super Six tonight.

"I can't even think about it," she said.

Kupets won the title in 2006 and 2007, but didn't get a chance to defend those victories last year when her season was cut short by an Achilles tendon injury.

Kupets scored a 10.0 on the balance beam, 9.95s on the floor and bars and a 9.9 on the vault. It completed a sweep of postseason titles for the 2004 Olympian, as she also won the SEC and Southeast regional all-around titles.

She has won the all-around in all but one meet this season.

The scores were so high that Baskett knew she'd have to have a phenomenal meet to beat Kupets, with whom she shared the 2006 uneven bars title. Baskett's career high is a 39.7.

Her best mark Thursday was the 9.95 on vault that solidified the Utes' tie with UCLA.

The Utes haven't had an NCAA all-around champion since Theresa Kulikowski won in 1999.

"Courtney is so good, no one was going to touch her," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "But it's second, we're used to that. It feels pretty good right now."

Kupets admitted she had some thoughts of the all-around title Thursday, but brushed them aside to focus on helping Georgia qualify for tonight's Super Six event.

"I have to remember I do these routines for the team," she said. "It's better if I stay clueless," she said of the individual title race.

The two still have some individual battles ahead Saturday, since Kupets qualified on every event while Baskett qualified on everything except floor.

lwodraska@sltrib.com

Close call

Georgia's Courtney Kupets edged out Utah's Kristina Baskett for the all-around title Thursday.

Kupets Baskett

Vault 9.9 9.95

Uneven Bars 9.95 9.9

Balance Beam 10.0 9.9

Floor 9.95 9.85

All-Around 39.8 39.6