Postell goes for quartet

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Been a While

Utah's most recent event winners


1992 - Kristen Kenoyer

1985 - Elaine Alfano

1984 - M. McCunniff-Marsden

Balance beam

2001 - Theresa Kulikowski

1999 - Theresa Kulikowski

1997 - Summer Reid

Uneven bars

1999 - Angie Leonard

1994 - Sandy Woolsey

1992 - Missy Marlowe


1992 - Missy Marlowe

1985 - Lisa MitzelTonight

NCAA Gymnastics

Individual Finals

Tonight, 8 p.m.

Corvallis, Ore.

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Gymnastics is generally a quick sport. A few seconds to do a vault, a couple floor or beam passes and a few release moves on the uneven bars and you're done.

The NCAA Championships though, are turning into a marathon for sophomore Ashley Postell.

She competed in the all-around the last two nights, and will effectively do so again tonight in the individual competition, having qualified for the individual finals in every event.

"I've never done all-around three times, not even internationally," she said. "Let's just hope I don't hurt myself this time."

Last year, Postell qualified on every event except floor, but had to withdraw from the vault and beam competitions after she hurt her ankle the night before in warmups for the team competition.

Postell competed on bars and finished third. Also qualifying for tonight's individual finals are Gritt Hofmann on the vault, Nicolle Ford on the vault and bars and freshman Kristina Baskett on the bars.

To qualify, gymnasts had to finish in the top four on the event in Thursday's individual session. Doing so also earned them All-America honors, making Postell a nine-time All-American in just two years.

On Friday, Postell scored a 39.525 in the all-around to finish second behind Georgia's Courtney Kupets, who won the title with a 39.575. Ford finished tied for 13th with a 39.275.

"It's nice, but the team is the most important thing anyway," Postell said.

Making vault and beam finals were almost expected of Postell since she is ranked No. 10 and No. 2 on the events, respectively. Postell isn't among the top gymnasts on the floor because she has been inconsistent as she has worked with various passes, but she should be a contender on the event too because of the high level tricks she uses.

Bars is the most surprising since she considers it her weakest event.

"I have a new dismount this year and I always struggle on bars," she said. "It makes me happy to know I can make All-American on that event even though I might be struggling. Maybe it's not as bad as I think it is."

Postell goes second in the vault lineup, and Ford, if she chooses to compete, goes last.

Ford is ranked No. 5 on the bars, an event in which she is happy to make finals, unlike her spot in vault.

Ford said Thursday she may not compete in vault because she doesn't have a second one.

Hofmann placed 10th on the floor last year and was hoping to make the finals on her best event again, but will take a spot in the vault finals.

"It's the last event I expected or hoped to be in, but it's exciting," she said. "I'm a little disappointed about floor, but it will be good to go another day."

Baskett's spot in the bars finals was a surprise to her too, especially since she considers it her weakest event.

"I came in thinking I wouldn't even compete bars this year because it's been the hardest event all my life," she said. "Now it seems to be beam."

The only disappointment in coach Greg Marsden's perspective was Baskett didn't make vault finals. She threw her big vault, but took a step and earned a 9.85 to put her in a tie for seventh.

"It's too bad she didn't get rewarded for the vault," Marsden said. "But individuals are just for bragging rights. This is fun."