Utah gymnastics: Red Rocks defeat Stanford in low-scoring gymnastics meet
Ravell Call, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah gymnastics team's home debut in the Pac-12 proved anything but dull Friday night. The night included promotions, good and bad routines, a handful of scoring protests (by both teams) and a yellow card. In the end, No. 5 Utah walked away with a 196.3-196.1 victory over No. 12 Stanford.
The night began like any other, with the Red Rocks producing a solid 49.3 on vault to take the early lead. Freshman Tory Wilson pounded out a career-best 9.9, while senior Kyndal Robarts did the same with a 9.975.
Robarts' vault got the rowdy Red Rocks crowd roaring early, and they didn't let up throughout the meet.
But as good as vault was, bars was the opposite.
"Tonight wasn't a great performance on every event," said Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden. "Last week I mentioned it was arguably our best set of bars, and tonight was probably our worst."
The Utes changed their lineup last minute on bars, with Mary Beth Lofgren subbing for injured Corrie Lothrop. Lofgren started the event with a 9.675, which Utah was forced to count after Hailee Hansen missed the bar and fell later in the lineup. Georgia Dabritz's 9.825 was the high for Utah on the event. Meanwhile, Stanford hit its vaults to go up on Utah.
Lothrop came back to compete on beam, but ended up falling for the first time this season. Despite the fall and a balance check by Stephanie McAllister, Utah was able to recapture the lead after beam. Robarts' 9.875 in the event was the highest score Utah earned the rest of the night.
After beam, things turned a corner for Utah. Ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor, the Red Rocks compiled their second-lowest score of the season at 49.05. Tory Wilson, who subbed last minute, and Nansy Damianova had solid scores to start the event. But from there, fans booed the judges' scores.
Marsden got in the judges' ears after watching Georgia Dabritz and Becky Tutka hit their routines and record 9.825s. The coach was given a yellow card for his disputes, and came over again to the judging tables when McAllister watched a standing ovation from the fans turn into a boo fest as she was given a 9.675. Utah's other co-head coach, Megan Marsden, said the judges argued McAllister doesn't have an approved leap connection, though she's been doing the same connection since last year with no scoring decrease.
"Obviously I just didn't see things the same way," said Greg Marsden. "It's tough for me because I know how hard people work, and to see them go out there and do a nice job and not be rewarded for it is frustrating. I need to be cooler than that though and not let it get to me.
"At some point you've got to stand up for your athletes too. Whether I did that in the appropriate way or not, probably not, but that was my feeling at the time."
Utah has watched its scores fall during its past three meets into the 196.0 range, which will hurt its overall Regional Qualifying score. But Greg said he and the team are over the scores and looking more at improving what needs to be fixed.
"The judges weren't responsible for our performance," said Greg Marsden. "There were some good things tonight, but there were some things we didn't do very well. There are some things we should be concerned about and should focus on."
Up next, Utah continues its three-meet home stand against No. 8 Oregon State Friday.
Utah 196.300, Stanford 196.100
1) McAllister (Utah) 39.000
2) Morgan (Stanford) 38.775
Vault (Utah 49.300, Stanford 49.175)
1) Robarts (Utah) 9.975
2) Wilson (Utah) 9.900, Dayton (Stanford) 9.900
4) Lothrop (Utah) 9.850, Hong (Stanford) 9.850, Brown (Stanford) 9.850
Bars (Stanford 49.000, Utah 48.800)
1) Morgan (Stanford) 9.850, Pechanec (Stanford) 9.850
3) Dabritz (Utah) 9.825
4) Lopez (Utah) 9.800, Wing (Stanford) 9.800
6) Beers (Utah) 9.750, McAllister (Utah) 9.750, Peter (Stanford) 9.750, Shapiro (Stanford) 9.750
Beam (Stanford 49.175, Utah 49.150)
1) Robarts (Utah) 9.875, Spinner (Stanford) 9.875
3) Lofgren (Utah) 9.850, Beers (Utah) 9.850, Morgan (Stanford) 9.850
6) Hong (Stanford) 9.825, Brown (Stanford) 9.825
Floor (Utah 49.050, Stanford 48.750)
1) Morgan (Stanford) 9.900
2) Damianova (Utah) 9.825, Dabritz (Utah) 9.825, Tutka (Utah) 9.825
5) Robarts (Utah) 9.800, Morgan (Stanford) 9.800
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