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Ute gymnasts fall to No. 6

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17 2006 12:00 a.m. MST

With NCAA gymnastics rankings still done this week by high score, the University of Utah's vault team rates No. 1 in the country while Utah State University senior Jessica Parenti stands No. 7 in the all-around and Utah's home-opening opponent Nebraska has the No. 1 all-arounder.

But the Ute team dropped two more poll spots to sixth place, even though it is 2-0 for the season.

Parenti, who missed much of last season with illness, has opened 2006 with back-to-back all-around victories in multi-team meets, including Sunday's meet with Louisiana State and Centenary at Texas Woman's University in Denton with 39.25, the seventh-best total nationwide in this young season.

Utah's high score is 195.625 and was accomplished Saturday night at University of Washington. That leaves Utah sixth, following Alabama (196.15); last week's No. 1 Florida (195.90); No. 3 Georgia (195.825) and Michigan and Nebraska (195.675).

Nebraska is at Utah this Friday as the Utes make their 2006 home debut, and the Cornhuskers will bring the No. 1-ranked all-arounder, Emily Parsons (39.625).

Utah also scored 194.875 in winning at UCLA in the season opener Jan. 7, and it could move up in polls next week when the criteria shifts to season average (195.25, the NCAA's third-highest average this week).

USU's top score of 192.875 has it ranked 22nd this week.

The Ute vault team is atop the rankings in that event at 49.325 scored at UW. That is .125 point higher than No. 2 Alabama, which has a 49.125 average, .025 high than Utah's. Ute vaulters Ashley Postell and Kristina Baskett are tied for fourth nationally in the event with highs of 9.90. Nebraska's Parsons is tied for first at 9.95.

Some teams, like Southern Utah, have not had a meet yet. The Thunderbirds open Friday night at Oklahoma. Others, like BYU, have had just one meet, and the Cougars were third in a quadrangular at Oregon State Friday at 190.075, which should rank 37th but apparently went unreported to the national coaches' association Web site that publishes the ratings. BYU is at Utah State Friday at 6:30 p.m.

In other individual rankings, Utah junior Nicolle Ford is tied for eighth all-around at 39.20 and did not go all-around last week due to a wrist injury. She ranks fifth on bars at 9.90.

USU's Parenti (9.875) is tied for ninth on floor with teammate Liesel Kohler (9.85) tied for 17th with, among others, Utah's Jessica Duke. Postell (9.875), still getting into competitive shape from a preseason elbow injury, is tied for eighth on balance beam, while Ford, Gritt Hofmann and freshman Nina Kim are tied for 10th at 9.85.

NCAA women's gymnastics ranking

    
            
            	    	
                

Rank Team High

1. Alabama 196.150

2. Florida 195.900

3. Georgia 195.825

4. (tie) Michigan 195.675

4. Nebraska 195.675

6. Utah 195.625

7. Auburn 195.300

8. Missouri 195.100

9. Stanford 194.950

10. Penn State 194.875

11. Arizona 194.350

12. Kentucky 194.150

13. Iowa State 194.350

14. LSU 193.900

15. (tie) Denver 193.850

15. UCLA 193.850

17. Michigan State 193.550

18 (tie) Oklahoma 193.325

18. Washington 193.325

20. Arizona State 193.150

21. Minnesota 192.900

22. Utah State 192.875

23. North Carolina 192.475

24. Arkansas 192.225

25. Oregon State 192.200


E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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