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Utes slip in polls despite win

Gymnasts No. 4 as new rankings factor in season-best score

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 11 2006 12:00 a.m. MST

The University of Utah gymnastics team is coming off a season-opening victory at UCLA, but the Utes dropped from a second-place ranking in the preseason poll to fourth.

The first coaches' association national rankings of the regular season are done by high score only. So there's no need for Ute fans to squirm.

Ratings will be done by high scores for the first two weeks, until teams have enough meets to have averages. As of now, many teams, like BYU and Southern Utah, haven't even competed yet, while some have had two meets.

From Jan. 23-Feb. 16, the poll will be done by total season-average scores. After that, rankings will be determined by Regional Qualifying Score, an average of six meets, some of which must be on the road. The RQS eventually decides which teams advance to the postseason.

Utah's score of 194.875 at UCLA on Saturday placed it behind Florida, defending NCAA champion Georgia and Stanford.

In event scores, Utah's 48.90 on balance beam was second in the country only to UCLA's 49.00. The Utes' 48.825 on floor was fifth-best nationally. In other events, Utah is tied with UCLA for seventh on vault (48.875) and 13th on bars (48.275) despite two falls at UCLA.

Utah State, which finished fourth in a four-team meet at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, is not in team rankings, but its 48.30 on vault ranks it 17th. It's tied for 24th on floor (46.60) and beam (46.45).

In individual rankings, Ute junior Nicolle Ford is sixth in the all-around (39.20) and freshman Nina Kim 23rd (38.625). The pair is tied for third (9.85) on beam, while Ford and freshman Kristina Baskett are tied for second (9.875) on bars. Senior Gritt Hofmann and Baskett are tied for 15th (9.825) on floor with Ford (9.775) tied for 25th. Hofmann (9.775) is tied for 15th and sophomore Ashley Postell (.75), recovering from a torn elbow medial collateral ligament, is tied for 22nd on beam.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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