Utah Utes gymnastics: 'Dogged' again

By Linda Hamilton

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, April 18 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Utah barely slid into the Super Six by tying with UCLA for third place in the evening preliminary session Thursday and then winning a tiebreaker — the addition of each team's scores by the sixth and usually non-counting gymnast. Utah thought for quite a while that it would lose the tiebreaker due to two falls and several wobbles on beam, its final event.

Before the Super Six meet, Marsden said, "We just talked about the second chance we probably didn't deserve, and that (Thursday) wasn't who we are. We wanted to come in tonight and take advantage of the opportunity we were given."

Though that resulted in third place, "I can't be unhappy with the outcome," he said.

Part of Utah's feeling of some accomplishment came from the way it stormed back from a slow start to move into second until the final rotation.

Beam was Utah's first event Friday, and while it did much better than it had Thursday, it still had a fall. This time the mistakes didn't multiply. Still, Utah totaled just 49.175, the fourth-place score after everyone had completed one event.

After their first bye, the Utes scooped up a 49.425 on floor to move from fifth to a tie with Georgia for second place, Annie DiLuzio leading with a 9.925 with Baskett and Daria Bijak each scoring 9.90s.

A 49.525 on vault, second-best score of the season for the Utes, put them alone in second place, behind Georgia (148.20-148.15) and ahead of Alabama (148.075), but in its last event of the night, Georgia popped for a season-best 49.625 on vault to become untouchable.

The Utes pretty much hit bars, sticking their last five landings and looking clean, but their 49.275 total, with only Baskett scoring a 9.90, left them vulnerable as 'Bama rocked floor for 49.50.

Final team scores

1. Georgia 197.825

2. Alabama 197.575

3. Utah 197.425

4. Florida 196.725

5. Arkansas 196.475

6. LSU 196.375

E-mail: lham@desnews.com

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