Utes gymnastics: Tory Wilson, Georgia Dabritz and Nansy Damianova win individual titles as Utah wins Pac-12 title

By Liz Abel

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, March 22 2014 7:20 p.m. MDT

BERKELEY, Calif.— The University of Utah is a champion in the Conference of Champions after the gymnasts won the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championship against a top-25 field. After winning the afternoon session at the Pac-12 Championships, the Utes had to wait more than five hours to be officially crowned as the schools first Pac-12 champion. The win was worth the wait. Utah, the tournaments top seed, blew away seeds No. 2-4 in the afternoon session, and the No. 5-8 seeds who followed never threatened.

The Utes tied the seventh-best score in school history with the 197.925 to beat Stanford (197.175), California (196.550), UCLA (196.525), Oregon State (196.275), Arizona (196.250), Arizona State (195.500) and Washington (195.125).

In addition to the schools first Pac-12 team title, Utah came away with four of the five individual championships. Tory Wilson won the all-around with a 39.450 and Georgia Dabritz won all three events she competedvault (9.95), bars (10.0) and floor (9.95)tying for first on floor with Nansy Damianova. Wilsons all-around title was the second for Utah in its three-year Pac-12 history (Corrie Lothrop won the all-around in 2012), while Dabritz is now a four-time Pac-10 champion with a 2012 uneven bar title to her credit as well. Damianovas co-championship on floor was her first Pac-12 title.

In a clean sweep, Utah also captured the Pac-12s biggest season awards. By vote of the conference coaches, Greg and Megan Marsden shared Coach of the Year, Tory Wilson was named Gymnast of the Year and Georgia Dabritz won Specialist of the Year. It marked the second best in her class award for Dabritz, who was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2012.

Shortly after finishing a dominating performance against three of the nations top 11 teams, an ecstatic Coach Greg Marsden said, I know theres another session, but if things go as planned, were going ring shopping!

By the midway point of the second session, it was mathematically evident that Marsden could go ahead and schedule his shopping trip. I cant tell you how happy we are to win a Pac-12 Championship. With all of the great wins weve had over the years, this is as thrilling and important as any of them, Marsden said, referring no doubt to Utahs 10 national championships and eight runner-up finishes.

I want all of our teams to win Pac-12 Championships, but we really wanted to be the first one. It (a championship) was in our grasp for the past two years and we let it slip away. This is especially rewarding to win like this, said Marsden, whose team lost by five hundredths of a point to UCLA in the inaugural Pac-12 Championship in 2012 and blew a last-rotation lead last year to slip to third behind host Oregon State and UCLA.

This time, the Utes left nothing to chance, leading from start to finish and growing stronger as the meet went on. While none of the teams in the session had to count a fall on an event, nobody could catch a Ute team on fire.

The Utes won three of four events as a team as well, starting with their first event, where their final three vaults were a 9.90 from Kailah Delaney, a 9.925 from Wilson and a 9.95 from Dabritz. After one rotation, Stanford was hot on the Utes heels, scoring a 49.350 on the beam to Utahs 49.400 on the vault. In third and fourth place were Oregon State (49.050 on floor) and UCLA (49.00 on bars).

The Utes erupted on their next eventthe uneven barsposting a season-best 49.60. Their score was just a tenth of a point off the school record of 49.70 set 21 years and three conferences ago at the 1993 Western Athletic Conference Championships. Dabritz led the way with a perfect 10.0the second perfect score for the junior this season (the other was on floor at Michigan) and her second career 10.0 on bars. It is the second Pac-12 uneven bar championship for the nations top-ranked bar worker, who also won it as a freshman in 2012.

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS