Banged-up Utes host USU, SUU gymnasts

Published: Friday, Jan. 27 2006 12:00 a.m. MST

There were more concerns for Utah's No. 2-ranked, 3-0 gymnastics team Thursday as it prepared for tonight's tri-meet in the Huntsman Center at 7 against unranked Southern Utah (0-1) and No. 32 Utah State (2-5).

Freshman Nina Kim was ill, said Utah coach Greg Marsden, who might use her all-around tonight, might hold her to two events or even hold her out altogether, depending on how she feels this afternoon. Also, specialist Natalie Nicoloff is bothered by a sore hip and will be held out.

However, Nicolle Ford seems to have won her argument to go all-around again, despite a mysteriously sore wrist. Ashley Postell and Kristina Baskett are also slated for all four events. Gabi Onodi is working a floor upgrade and will go as an exhibition with Kristen Riffanacht replacing her as the leadoff competitor.

The meet will be run with three events going simultaneously.

USU has jumped from a season-opening 187.925 to last week's 193.375 in a .1 loss to BYU in Logan and is led by all-arounder Jessica Parenti and Katie Omann, ranked 24th nationally in the all-around.

SUU lost three top performers to graduation and one who chose at semester break to be with her husband, stationed on the East Coast after serving in the military in Iraq, and it has had only one meet for the youngsters to settle in. Its score of 190.05 in a loss at Oklahoma a week ago was its lowest season-opening score since 2000. Leah Sakhitab's 38.30 all-around led the T-Birds.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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