AUBURN, Ala. Utah freshman Ashley Postell will compete in three events tonight to lead the Ute contingent in the 2005 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships individual event finals, the conclusion of the three-day meet.
Postell is the 2002 world champion on balance beam, but she will have a hard time winning the event tonight as she will be first to compete, and judges usually hold their higher scores for later in the rotation.
She is also entered in vault, along with senior teammate Annabeth Eberle, who made event finals in two events including floor exercise the one final for which Postell didn't qualify.
In Thursday's team preliminary round, which served as the qualifier for the event finals as well, Eberle had the highest vault score of both sessions, 9.95, and Postell's 9.925 tied for second overall with two from the evening session, Georgia's Brittany Smith and UCLA all-around champion Tasha Schikert.
Postell and U. sophomore Rachel Tidd will be in tonight's bars finals. Tidd had the best bars score of Thursday's early session, 9.925, and was third overall behind 9.95s by Schwikert and Alabama's Terin Humphrey from the evening session.
Utah's other qualifier tonight is senior Gritt Hofmann on floor exercise. She and Eberle each scored 9.90 on Thursday, the third-best score of the two sessions behind 9.95 by North Carolina's Courtney Bumpers and 9.925 from Nebraska's Emily Parsons.
No BYU or Southern Utah gymnasts qualified for the finals.Utah has not had an NCAA event champion since Theresa Kulikowski won balance beam in 2001.