Utah Utes gymnastics: Team doesn't mind role of underdog

By Linda Hamilton

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, April 20 2010 3:36 p.m. MDT

Jamie Deetscreek says she gets so into herself during meets she has to consciously think about enjoying things, but she's ready for that.

"I think now it's just fun from here on out," said the senior, who has been sick for the last week, as has sophomore Stephanie McAllister.

Utah's other woes have been a slight Achilles strain for senior Beth Rizzo and junior Kyndal Robarts' ankle that was sprained at the regional.

Robarts has been practicing normally, and it was left up to Rizzo how much she'd work out prior to Thursday.

"You can tell that everybody's heart is in it," said Deetscreek, "and I just think that that's a good feeling going into this last meet. I just think we're all enjoying being around each other, and we really want each other to succeed, and I think that's going to be great for our whole team and performance at the end."

Bijak, Deetscreek, DiLuzio and Rizzo were all freshmen (Rizzo a redshirt freshman) the last time Utah was a bit of an underdog with a team led by Ashley Postell, Nicolle Ford and Kristina Baskett that hadn't put together a full meet all season until it did so to start the postseason. The 2007 Utes went to the postseason ranked seventh but won the regional at Cal and tied for the highest regional score in the country, then remained strong in the national championships, finishing second on their own Huntsman Center floor.

So the four seniors do have some experience to draw on, and they're hoping that perhaps that and having no more monkey riding their backs will lead to their best performance of the season.

NCAA Gymnastics Championships

Thursday-Saturday

Gainesville, Fla., 11 a.m. MDT

Afternoon session: Utah, UCLA, Oklahoma, Oregon State, LSU and Nebraska

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS