This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Posted: 9:12 PM- Ashley Postell has long been recognized as one of the top vaulters in the country and several times she has gotten shorted for what Ute coaches thought were routines worthy of a perfect score.
She finally got one Friday in second-ranked Utah's 197.750- 194.100 win over Minnesota in front of 10,133 at the Huntsman Center, but too bad the career milestone didn't come on her own merit.
Postell capped off Utah's best vault set of the year with a vault she stuck, feet slightly apart. One judge saw it as a 10.0 routine. The other judge, Mary Ann Mahoney, gave it a 9.95, that is until she saw the other judge's score and quickly changed her mark to a 10.0 as well.
Mahoney's action was wrong, since judges are supposed to rate routines independently of one another and should not change their score based on the other judge's opinion.
Such changes of heart occurred more often before the NCAA went to a national assigning system for its judges several years ago that was supposed to help ensure impartial judges were used.
Interestingly, the same thing happened the last time a 10.0 was scored in the Huntsman Center. In 2005, Annabeth Eberle earned a 9.95 from one judge and a 10.0 from another on her final floor routine during senior night. The judge who gave her the 9.95 changed her score to a 10.0 upon seeing the other mark.
The altered score on Friday detracted from Postell's performance, which was going to be one of her best without the charity of the judge. Postell won the all-around with a career high 39.8, earning 9.925 on the uneven bars, 9.9 on the balance beam and a 9.975 on the floor.
Mahoney gave her a 9.95 on the floor, but didn't change her score unlike earlier in the meet.