After hitting its lowest score of the season (195.275) in winning Saturday at Minnesota (194.45), where scores are traditionally tight, the University of Utah gymnastics team really expected to drop from first place in this week's NCAA rankings.

It did not.

With the rankings still done by total season averages, since few teams have enough meets (six) for a Regional Qualifying Score, which will determine the rankings starting Feb. 21, the Utes maintained a fairly healthy lead over No. 2 Michigan, averaging 196.290 to the Wolverines' 196.254.

BYU, which competes at Utah this Friday night at 7, dropped from eighth to 13th, and Southern Utah ranks 18th this week. Utah State is now 34th (192.100).

The Utes did suffer a little in event and individual rankings, as sophomore Rachel Tidd dropped from first to a tie for fourth on uneven bars. But freshman Ashley Postell remained second in all-around rankings. Utah remained No. 1 on uneven bars but fell to No. 2 in vaulting, stayed No. 2 on beam and dropped from fourth to sixth on floor.

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BYU's highest event sees the Cougars ranked No. 8 in vaulting. Southern Utah ranks eighth on floor. The highest-ranked individual Cougar is sophomore Marie-Helene Claveau, who is tied for 12th (9.862 average) in vaulting. SUU's Carly Geronimo is ranked 12th on floor (9.869).

Southern Utah plays host to Utah State tonight at 6:45.


NCAA Women's Gymnastics Rankings

Feb. 7 (By total season average)

    
    
        

            
                    

Rank Team Avg. High

1. Utah 196.290 197.675

2. Michigan 196.254 196.750

3. LSU 196.115 197.250

4. Alabama 196.055 197.175

5. UCLA 195.921 197.300

6. Florida 195.845 196.950

7. Georgia 195.480 195.850

8. Nebraska 195.420 196.800

9. Oklahoma 195.185 195.900

10. Iowa State 195.155 195.850

Others

13. BYU 194.850 195.575

18. So. Utah 194.194 195.525