Utah junior Nina Kim still isn't expected to compete Saturday after rolling an ankle in practice a week ago, but she at least has made it a difficult decision for coach Greg Marsden to keep her out of the lineup.
Kim is recovering faster than expected and has gone through some light workouts with the intent of showing Marsden she can compete.
She has done well enough that Marsden said he hasn't completely ruled out her participation, but believes it would be better to let her rest and focus on getting healthy for NCAAs.
"She is doing more each day," he said. "Where we'd really like to have her is on beam. I'm not going to rule it out, but I'm not expecting it either."
Freshman Kyndal Robarts is expected to take Kim's spot on the beam and sophomore Beth Rizzo is slated to go in Kim's spot on the vault.
Rizzo has competed on the vault only twice this season, scoring a 9.725 at Washington and a 9.8 at home against Utah State and SUU. Rizzo has had a good week of practice and is looking forward to the opportunity to compete Saturday, although she wishes she had earned her spot in the lineup another way.
"I would rather have Nina competing, of course; she is one of my best friends and I never want to see her hurt," she said. "I'd like to make it into the lineup as one of the best vaulters."
Utah State didn't qualify for regionals as a team, but still will be represented at the North Central regional. Heather Heinrich, Nicki Felley, Jasmine Minion, Nicole Simoneau, Lyndsie Boone and Megan Tschida all qualified as individuals. Heinrich and Felley qualified to compete in the all-around while Minion will compete on vault, Simoneau on the bars, Boone on the beam and Tschida on the floor.
Utah State had high expectations as a team but struggled throughout the season and finished a disappointing fifth at the WAC Championships.