Utah Gymnastics Notes: Night ends early for ailing Tidd after fall

Utah Gymnastics Notes
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One of the few mistakes Friday came from one of Utah's most consistent performers on the uneven bars.

Sophomore Rachel Tidd, who is ranked third in the nation on the event, fell for the first time on that event Friday, scoring just 9.425.

Tidd, originally scheduled to compete in the all-around, was scratched from the balance beam and floor.

That she even tried to compete at all is admirable. She practiced only a little on Thursday, sitting out earlier practices with ear infections.

"I'm just not feeling that great all the way around," Tidd said. "Ear infection, head cold, it's everything. The whole day I was questioning whether or not I should compete."

Gritt Hofmann, who broke the ring finger on her right hand Saturday during a medicine ball exercise, went in place of Tidd on the balance beam and scored a 9.8.

Kristen Riffanacht filled in for Tidd on the floor, earning a 9.85 in her first routine since Feb. 5, when she scored a 9.75 at Minnesota.

"I've been competing in exhibition, so it wasn't that big of a deal to go first," Riffanacht said.

From one meet to another

Washington's Carly Dockendorf, the Huskies' best gymnast, left Salt Lake City early this morning to compete in the Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. Dockendorf will compete in the pole vault event. She finished 11th at the 2004 outdoor championships.

On Friday, Dockendorf had a fall on the beam, and finished with a 38.925 in the all-around.

Familiar face

Washington senior Tacia LaBatte competed for Utah her freshman year, then transferred to the Huskies. LaBatte had a hard time breaking into Utah's lineup, but has been one of Washington's strongest gymnasts, competing on everything but the balance beam this year. She leads the team on vault, averaging 9.775.

On Friday, LaBatte fell on the bars and scored just 8.825, but came back with a 9.9 on the vault.

Tumbling tidbits

Postell isn't the only one who hasn't missed a routine this year, freshman Jessica Duke is 9-for-9 and Natalie Nicoloff is 3-for-3. . . . Utah leads Washington 32-0-1 in their series. The two have competed every year since the 1993 season. Washington tied Utah in Seattle in 2001 when its last gymnast scored a 10.0 on the floor.

Tough competition

A combination of the Utes facing a mediocre opponent, the start of spring break for the students and the men's basketball team playing in the MWC tournament at the same time as the gymnastics meet all combined for a slow-arriving crowd Friday. The final tally, 10,505, will be good enough to keep Utah in first in gymnastics attendance. Utah averages 11,520 fans. Alabama is second, averaging 10,545 fans.