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U. gymnasts drop to 3rd in rankings

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21 2006 5:17 p.m. MST

The women's collegiate gymnastics national rankings moved to the final stage this week, rating teams by Regional Qualifying Score, and while the University of Utah only dropped one place in team standings, it took a beating in event and individual rankings.

The 8-0 Utes, ranked second for the last four weeks when the poll was done by raw season averages, have suffered falls or errors in their last three meets that held their scores down a bit, especially in road meets.

Now that the rankings are done by RQS, an average of six scores, three of which must be on the road, the Utes' road mistakes are catching up to them. Plus, a fall by Ashley Postell and two problems for Nicolle Ford in Friday's home victory over Minnesota weakened the RQS of two of Utah's top athletes.

Georgia (196.795 RQS) retains No. 1 status with Florida (196.170) moving into second ahead of Utah (196.12), which is just .05 ahead of Alabama.

Southern Utah (192.925) is 22nd and Utah State (192.72) 24th. BYU does not have enough meets to make the rankings.

In events, Utah ranks third, fourth, fifth and sixth in bars, beam vault and floor, respectively. SUU is 19th on bars, 21st on beam and second on floor. USU is tied for 21st on bars.

Individually, Ford fell from fifth all-around last week to out of the rankings this week as she did not go all-around in two road meets due to an injured wrist, meaning she didn't have enough scores to qualify for a ranking. Postell is ranked 23rd in all-around, just ahead of SUU's Leah Sakhitab at 25th. Ute freshman Kristina Baskett also does not have enough all-around appearances to have an RQS after being 20th last week.

Postell is third on beam with Ford seventh, Gritt Hofmann of Utah 13th and Sakhitab 20th. On bars, Ford is fourth and Baskett ninth. Baskett is 10th on floor and 12th on vault with Postell tied for 16th in vault.

Rankings will continue to be done by RQS until the postseason, and that ranking determines which teams advance to the NCAA regionals.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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