Utah Utes gymnastics: Kim injured, likely out for regionals

Published: Monday, April 7 2008 4:41 p.m. MDT

Utah junior gymnast Nina Kim spent the weekend on crutches and was sent for X-rays Monday after rolling an ankle practicing leaps on floor exercise Friday.

She text-messaged associate head coach Megan Marsden Monday that she was feeling better, but Megan and head coach/husband Greg Marsden both consider Kim out for Saturday's NCAA North Central Regional competition Saturday at the University of Minnesota.

"Nina rolled her ankle pretty good, really good.," said Greg Marsden, but Megan Marsden said trainer Tom Iriye called the sprain mild.

Kim had returned to the lineup after an ankle injury kept her out for two meets at midseason. She has hit 25 of her 26 routines this season and went all-around three times, including at Michigan March 22, where she scored 39.35.

Sophomore Daria Bijak got through a complete workout Friday and said she felt fine the next day. She hyperextended her right knee in the regular-season finale with BYU on March 28. She was hurt on Utah's first event, vault, but came back to complete the all-around, scoring 38.775 despite the fall and 9.175 vault score. Monday the leg was heavily taped as a precautionary measure.

"That's good. She's feeling a little better," Greg Marsden said of Bijak, who had a career-high 39.475 at Michigan and scored 9.90 on beam, 9.875 on bars and 9.825 on floor after hurting her knee in her last meet.

"We're getting pretty thin in some places," said Greg Marsden, noting also Annie DiLuzio's season-long difficulties with her sore shins, Kristina Baskett's balky ankle and back issues that have followed Jessica Duke and Stephanie Neff. "We're having to work around a lot of stuff right now. We're not able to be very aggressive."

No. 2-ranked Utah will compete Saturday at Minneapolis for the right to move on from the six-team regional to the 2008 NCAA Championships at Georgia April 24-26. Other teams in the regional include No. 27 Southern Utah, No. 11 Arkansas, No. 23 Iowa and unranked Minnesota. Utah State qualified six individuals.


E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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