TEMPE, Ariz. - Friday night's gymnastics meet not only featured two of the top teams in the country, but two of the best athletes on the balance beam.
Arizona State's Ashley Kelly is ranked No. 1 on the event, and scored a 9.9 Friday.
Utah's Ashley Postell won the event at the World Championships in 2002, and scored a 9.925 as the last competitor on the apparatus.
Postell was too worried about the team score to think about individual battles, and said she didn't know Kelly was ranked No. 1 on the event. But finishing with the higher score made the night that much better for the sophomore.
"Everyone has one event they have a reputation on," she said. "But no matter where I am, in college or at the national level, I feel like everyone is gunning for me and going, 'Is she going to fall, is she going to fall?'
"I never want to let the team down, but that is an event I want to do well for myself, too."
Pain is temporary
Freshman Nina Kim wore a brace on her left knee during warmups, but took it off to compete. Kim hurt her knee last week, but exams didn't reveal the exact cause of the pain.
Kim scored a 9.825 on the vbault, a 9.75 on the bars and a 9.825 on the beam.
"It doesn't hurt during the meet," she said. "It's something I'm not going to worry about until after the season."
Several of Utah's gymnasts have colds, and Gabi Onodi was pulled from the beam lineup because of the illness. Kristen Riffanacht competed in her place, scoring a 9.675. Utah coach Greg Marsden was among the sick, and skipped the team's post-meet dinner, going back to the hotel immediately after the meet.
As usual, the Utes competed several in exhibition. Dominique D'Oliveira fell off the uneven bars and Natalie Nicoloff hit. Kristen Riffanacht threw a decent vault and Katie Kivisto performed a clean floor routine, after the three competitors ahead of her had trouble. Jessica Duke fell off beam in exhibition.
On a high
Postell's bars score of 9.9 was a season high. . . . Gritt Hofmann (9.9) and Kristina Baskett (9.925) scored career highs on the vault. . . . Utah's bars score of 49.225 was its highest on the road.