Utah Utes gymnastics: Nansy Damianova needs more progress to compete in all-around
When Ute freshman Nansy Damianova did an outstanding — if exhibition — balance beam routine last Friday night at Utah State, it begged the question of when the 2008 Canadian Olympian will break into the all-around to count.
The answer is that it may not be as close as it seems.
Coaches are trying to ease her into progression on beam, an event that she dislikes, even fears at times.
Damianova has done three events all year for the Utes, and over the last four meets, most of her scores have been in the 9.825-9.875 range.
Friday night in Logan, she scored 9.875 on vault, 9.825 on bars and got her first-ever 9.90 on floor after hitting her exhibition beam (9.825). That would have given her an all-around of 39.425, a spectacular debut.
But even though her exhibition beam score would have tied for second-best on the team, it's unlikely she'll compete beam Friday night when Utah hosts No. 1-ranked Florida for the Utes' final home meet and Senior Night.
"We're dealing with some fear with my event," said co-coach Megan Marsden, who handles beam. "That series pass, the roundoff-layout, she's admitted that if her roundoff, the base move, is not feeling good, if the beam's not feeling good to her, then she's really frightened of that skill."
That's more an issue on the road, where gymnasts perform on whatever equipment is provided, but it's tough to put her into the lineup when consistency is such an issue.
Marsden also has some worry about senior Gael Mackie, who tends to wobble at times on beam, but wobbles don't count off as much as a fall, and with Damianova, "I'm more concerned about a fall. With Nansy, I think it's going to be all or nothing," Marsden said.
It is all about comfortable progression for her, said co-coach Greg Marsden.
"I don't know if we're quite to that point," said Megan Marsden, "but I think the other night helped quite a bit. How much, I guess I'm going to see – see if she's going to be pushing to be out there some more.
"She does definitely seem to build confidence from good performances, and the fact that she had a chance to get out there and took advantage of her opportunity, I do think that will help build her confidence."
IN THE STANDS: The last home crowd of 13,975 against Michigan Feb. 18 left the Utes on the verge of winning the NCAA women's gymnastics attendance crown for the 27th time out of 30 tries.
The Utes need a big walkup crowd Friday when No. 1 Florida visits to stay ahead of Alabama.
Utah has averaged an NCAA-best of 13,092 per meet, while Alabama has drawn 13,088. Alabama's final home meet is March 11 with rival Louisiana State University.
RANKINGS: After a week out of the rankings because it didn't have enough road scores, Utah returned this week to lower ratings in overall team standings — going from third on Feb. 14 to fifth this week — as well as dropping in each event. It is fifth on bars, sixth on vault and beam and 11th on floor. BYU is 18th on beam and 21st on bars.
However, Ute junior Stephanie McAllister, thanks to her second straight career-high 39.475 at Utah State Friday, moved up two places in all-around rankings and is now fourth with a 39.355 RQS. She also moved up a place to a tie for third on uneven bars with a 9.890 RQS with senior teammate Mackie right behind, tied for fifth at 9.885. The other Ute in the rankings is freshman Mary Beth Lofgren, 22nd on beam.
No one from the state's other schools is ranked in the top 25.
NCAA team gymnastics rankings
Rank. . . team. . .RQS. . .Average. . .High score
1 Florida 197.055 196.969 197.725
2 Stanford 196.710 196.503 196.975
3 Alabama 196.590 196.359 197.675
4 Oklahoma 196.345 196.211 197.225
5 Utah 196.335 196.347 196.975
6 Georgia 196.200 196.225 197.225
7 Oregon St. 196.190 195.994 196.950
8 UCLA 196.170 195.947 197.475
9 Michigan 195.955 195.797 196.800
10 Nebraska 195.730 195.583 196.500
25 BYU 194.740 194.400 195.200
33 SUU 194.050 194.088 195.750
45 Utah St.192.265 192.200 193.600
- BYU, Utah and Utah State 2013 football...
- BYU, Utah and Utah State 2013 football...
- High school baseball: Bingham Miners bring...
- High school baseball: Salem Hills Skyhawks...
- BYU basketball: Agustin Ambrosino leaves BYU...
- Wasatch Whip Around: Deseret News writers...
- High school boys soccer: Lehi beats Bingham,...
- ESPN trivia guru: University of Utah graduate...
- Hard work, dedication pay off for... 57
- High school baseball: 5A, 4A state... 56
- BYU, Utah and Utah State 2013 football... 39
- BYU basketball: Agustin Ambrosino... 29
- BYU basketball: Dave Rose hoping Tyler... 28
- Bodyguards allegedly beat up 2 fans who... 19
- Utah Jazz: No lottery luck, so Jazz... 19
- Utah State football: New coach Matt... 14