Utah gymnastics co-coaches Greg and Megan Marsden gave junior Stephanie McAllister permission to yell at them this week.
She didn't do it.
She didn't let the reason that gave her that rare permission bother her at all. As always.
"Stephanie? No," said Greg Marsden. "We were very apologetic to her, but that's not Steph, to lose sleep over that kind of thing."
McAllister, who was the nation's No. 5 all-arounder last week, received a 0.2 deduction in Saturday's 196.60-196.325 loss at No. 5 Oregon State in her floor exercise. The deduction was because the two judges at that meet noted that she did not have a proper combination of a leap off of one foot into a 180-degree split combined with another leap or jump.
The coaches thought her routine had met the requirement, and no other judges through Utah's first nine meets had deducted her for the skills the way she did them.
"These judges pointed out that this technically didn't meet the letter of the rule, and so they started her at a 9.8," said Greg Marsden.
"It's not going to be hard to fix at all," said Megan Marsden, "but it is the mistake of we coaches not understanding the rule perfectly. We can't interact with judges, so it's up to us in meets to have judges catch stuff like that, and nobody's told us anything on leaps until this."
Megan took the blame and said it's the coaches' jobs to know all the nuances of the rules.
Though the deduction wouldn't have changed the team outcome, Megan said she felt bad that the deduction hurt McAllister's all-around score by 0.2, and that's probably how she dropped a bit in this week's rankings.
"No. It was just a mistake," said McAllister with that cheerful smile that got her nicknamed "Happy." "We just had all made a mistake."
While she didn't know why her score was low but saw the coaches conferring with the officials about it, she said it didn't bother her on beam. "I would say it didn't affect my beam at all," she said. She scored 9.85 on that last event to go with a 9.85 on bars and 9.80 on vault. She got 9.60 with the -0.2 on floor, so she'd have totaled 39.30 without the deduction.
STILL CHAMPIONS: The Utes remain the overall NCAA women's sports attendance champions for the second straight year. They drew an average of 13,503 fans for their six home meets, and for the second straight year, that beat out Tennessee's vaunted women's basketball attendance of 13,078, as well as Alabama's gymnastics attendance of 12,730.
Utah went into its final home meet, March 4 with top-ranked Florida, only four ahead of Alabama for the gymnastics title, but the NCAA-record crowd of 15,558 that night left the Ute program uncatchable.
Last year, the Utes averaged 14,213 fans per meet, an NCAA gymnastics record.
RANKINGS: McAllister dropped to a tie for seventh in the all-around. She is in a four-way tie for fourth and senior teammate Gael Mackie is eighth on bars.
Utah is fourth on bars, seventh on beam, eighth on vault and tied for 11th on floor.
BYU — which hosts Utah Friday night at the Marriott Center to end the regular season for both teams — is 21st on beam, 22nd on bars and 25th on vault.
Southern Utah ranks No. 19 on floor and 22 on beam.
INJURIES: Corrie Lothrop was hopeful Monday that she might be able to return on bars Friday in Provo. The Utes' top all-arounder has done only beam the last two meets and missed the entire meet prior to that with a floating bone chip in an ankle.
"It's kind of weird," she said. "One day I'll be able to do everything, and other days I can barely jump. That part is kind of frustrating. It's feeling really good today."
Kyndal Robarts (knee) and Victoria Shanley (back) remain out.
NCAA women's gymnastics rankings
March 14, by Regional Qualifying Score
Team. . .RQS. . .Average. . .High score
1 Florida 197.170 196.973 197.725
2 Alabama 197.040 196.490 197.675
3 Stanford 196.715 196.503 196.975
4 Oklahoma 196.655 196.346 197.225
5 Oregon State 196.640 196.155 197.000
6 UCLA196.520 196.038 197.475
7 Utah 196.470 196.385 196.975
8 Georgia 196.325 196.205 197.225
9 Michigan 196.320 195.950 196.800
10 Penn State 196.045 195.508 97.075
26 BYU 195.030 194.493 195.300
33 Southern Utah 194.580 194.283 195.750*
46 Utah State 192.935 192.541 194.550
- Utah Jazz: No lottery luck, so Jazz remain in...
- BYU basketball: Dave Rose hoping Tyler Haws'...
- Results from Tuesday's high school softball,...
- 4 reasons why you need to paraglide at Point...
- High school boys soccer: Lehi edges...
- Utah high school updated tournament pairings...
- The offseason status of NFL players with Utah...
- BYU football: Fan-developed software gives...
- High school baseball: 5A, 4A state... 56
- BYU basketball: Dave Rose hoping Tyler... 20
- Bodyguards allegedly beat up 2 fans who... 19
- Utah Jazz: No lottery luck, so Jazz... 19
- Dick Harmon: BYU coach Mike Littlewood... 15
- Utah State football: New coach Matt... 11
- If hired, Jeff Hornacek will face same... 10
- BYU football: Fan-developed software... 8