BERKELY, Calif. — Three spectacular events gave the Utah gymnasts a big enough cushion to beat Cal 196.875-196.275 on the 39th-anniversary of the first Utah gymnastics meet back on January 17, 1976.
The Utes looked in postseason form on bars (49.325), vault (49.500) and floor (49.475) in building up a 148.300-147.150 lead against the Bears. They gave back several of those tenths on their final event, when Baely Rowe and Mary Beth Lofgren both fell off beam.
"It was a great night, but we have to get better at finishing on beam," said Utah coach Greg Marsden. "The other three events, they (the Utes) relaxed and let it come to them. We need to approach beam that way. Mary Beth (Lofgren) is at the end of the lineup because she is dependable, so I am not overly concerned"
Tory Wilson won the all-around for the second straight week, scoring a 39.400 and picked up her first vault win of the season with a 9.975. Georgia Dabritz was a double winner for the second week, scoring a 9.95 on floor and tying for first on bars with Corrie Lothrop (9.90). "We're in a great place for this time of year," said Wilson. "We started strong on bars, which was a problem for us early last season."
Wilson was right about a bar set highlighted by 9.90s from Lothrop and Dabritz. Lothrop, who fell last week in her return from last year's season-ending injury, looked back her 2012 form, when she earned All-America honors on the event. She and Dabritz tied for first on the event-the second bar win in two weeks for Dabritz, the 2013 NCAA runner-up. Utah led 49.325-49.025 after one rotation.
As good as the Utes were on bars, they were even better on vault, where they scored a 49.500 behind Wilson's 9.975, a 9.95 came by Kailah Delaney and Dabritz's 9.90 to close the set. After two events, Utah led 98.875-97.950.
While Cal was turning in a solid beam set, the Utes more than matched them on the floor to take a 148.300-147.150 three-event lead. Dabritz again led the way, this time with a 9.95, while Nansy Damianova and Del Priore performed 9.875 routines.
Utah returns home next week to meet UCLA on Jan. 25 in a meet televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
BYU: At Boise, BYU gymnastics improved from last week to record a 194.675 and finish third in a tri-meet at Taco Bell Arena.
Boise State scored a 195.150, and Denver narrowly edged BYU with a 194.825 to end the meet.
We struggled a little on bars and vault which are typically two of our stronger events, BYU head coach Brad Cattermole said. We werent terrible, but we just werent on. The team was considerably better on the balance beam and did really well on the floor. The Cougars were very consistent all night long as they recorded scores of 48.625, 48.475, 48.800 and 48.775 in the four events.
BYU started on the floor as sophomore Eliane Kulczyk tied her career high with a 9.800 on her routine. Up next, four gymnasts scored almost identical scores on the vault as two gymnasts scored a 9.750 and two others finished with a 9.725.
Megan Bain scored a team-high 9.850 on the balance beam, BYU's best event of the night. Bain's score was the best by any gymnast in the meet. Sophomore Makenzie Johnson, last weeks gymnast of the week, added a 9.800 to the teams beam score of 48.8000. On the bars, senior Haylee Rollins led the team with a 9.800, while Kulczyk added a 9.775.
"We're moving in the right direction," Cattermole said. "We'll keep working and keep improving. We're hoping for big things as the season goes."
BYU travels to Logan, Utah, Friday for its next meet against Utah State
UTAH STATE/SOUTHERN UTAH: At Cedar City, Southern Utah University gymnastics swept each individual event title, but fell to Utah State overall 194.150-193.975. The Thunderbirds suffered falls on bars and beam that left the team trailing and a strong comeback at the end of the meet fell short. "We could be mad that we lost this meet, but we really did have some positives," head coach Scott Bauman said. "We did a great job of staying right in it to the end and we are continuing to improve meet to meet."
Southern Utah opened with the lead, finishing with a 48.875 on vault with its first five competitors as Utah State began the meet with a 48.775 on bars. Virginia Brownsell led the way for the T-Birds with a 9.850, capturing her first collegiate title and was followed by Memory Shettles with a 9.825. Rochelle Bernier's 9.800 and matching 9.700's from Brittney Jensen and Jamie Armijo rounded out the team score.
The Thunderbirds suffered a pair of falls during their next rotation on bars, having to count a 9.025 from freshman Tyly Bozzuto. Senior Alyssa Click was tops on the team, claiming her first of two individual titles during the meet with a 9.875 and was followed by Armijo with a 9.800. Kiki Parenteau, competing in her first collegiate meet, scored a 9.775 and Ana Jaworski bounced back from a pair of falls last week to score a 9.550.
With the fall, Utah State was able to make up eight-tenths and took a 97.575-96.900 lead after scoring a 48.800 on vault. Southern Utah's beam rotation started shaky as Natalie Trejo and Jaworski each fell during their routines. Redshirt freshman Stacie Webb followed and shook off falls at Utah last week to score a career-best 9.800. She was out done by Click with a 9.850, her second individual title, with Bozzuto coming back from bars with a 9.750 on the event. Shettles rounded out the rotation, fighting to score a 9.625 after using one-legged check to avoid falling on the event.
The Thunderbirds finished the rotation with a 48.325 to Utah State's 48.500 on floor as the Aggies extended their lead 146.075-145.225.
Southern Utah put together a late push on floor, outscoring USU by almost seven-tenths with a 48.750 on floor to the Aggies' 48.075 on beam. The Thunderbird charge was led by career bests from Carly Sigler (9.825), Webb (9.800) and Shettles (9.750) and another 9.800 from Jensen. Sigler ended up taking the individual title on the event with Jaworski rounding out the team score with a 9.575.
Utah State finished the meet with a big check and two consecutive falls on beam, but held on for the victory. The Aggies also finished with an all-around title as Bailey McIntire finished with a 38.800. Southern Utah did not have a gymnast in the all-around.
The Thunderbirds will return to action next weekend when SUU travels to face Boise State in Boise, Idaho on Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m.