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The Utes changed several of their lineups Friday, putting gymnasts with upgrades last in the rotation, that way if someone ahead fell, they had the option of trying the more difficult routine or sticking with the safer one.
On vault, he took out Gabi Onodi and put Nicolle Ford in the leadoff spot. Going last was Kristen Riffanacht, who hasn't competed on the event in three meets. She scored a 9.65 with a pike-half.
On floor, Annabeth Eberle went last instead of Gritt Hofmann. Eberle added a two-and-a-half punch front as her first pass and moved her double pike to her second pass. She stepped out, scoring a 9.575.
"There was definitely some strategy going on tonight," Utah coach Greg Marsden said. "AB actually overrated her pass, and that's a good thing. It shows she is ready."
Utes land recruit
Normally, recruits consider facilities, coaches and tradition when deciding what school to attend. For U.S. National Team member Sarah Shire, all it took was the last two, never mind what the university looked like.
Shire one of the top recruits in the nation, orally committed to Utah on Thursday night, without having visited the campus.
Shire, couldn't fit in a visit to Salt Lake City between her busy training and competition schedule, so she committed to the Utes sight unseen.
"I've never even been to Utah," she said. "But I know about their tradition, and I want to go to a college to win a national championship and I feel like I can do that at Utah."
Shire considered Michigan, Alabama, Stanford, and LSU as well. University coaches cannot comment on recruits until they sign.
All about the music
Utah freshman Ashley Postell may raise some eyebrows with her choice of music this year, all of which is snippets of Michael Jackson hits. The singer currently is on trial, facing child molestation charges.
"I wanted some music I could have fun with, and not get bored with," Postell said. "I like the music, not him."
Oh so close
Eberle and Hofmann both came close to getting 10.0s Friday, with Eberle getting a 9.975 on the vault and Hofmann getting the same score on the floor.
The Utes have yet to get a 10.0 this year, thanks in large part to the tightened scoring. At this time last year, Utah had received three perfect marks, and finished the season with seven.
"I don't think about it," Eberle said of the elusive 10.0 this year. "With the tighter judging, we've had great performances and have only gotten 9.9s or 9.95s. You can't really hope for anything more."