Red Rocks: Utes gymnast Nansy Damianova looking to contribute more consistently
Last week against California those little things added up to a victory for the junior on bars and a tie with teammate Tory Wilson for third on floor. Each athlete's small contribution to better gymnastics resulted in the highest team score of the season for Utah.
Damianova said she was inspired by Wilson's perfect 10 on vault, which was their first event.
"We were so happy just because she's been training so hard and finally the judges agreed to give her a 10," she said. "It just made it a lot more fun, and it did fire up the whole team."
In fact, it continues to inspire the gymnasts.
"We didn't think it was possible for us," said the 21-year-old, who has never scored a 10 in competition. "But now that Tory made it, it gives us all hope that we could maybe get a 10 as well."
Damianova said she not only wants to continue to polish the routines she's already competing in, but she wants to break into the beam line-up and compete as an all-around gymnast.
Greg Marsden is confident that she can.
"It's up to her now," he said. "She's got to decide it's important enough for her to overcome her fear with that."
However, even if she just continues to contribute in three events, her responsibility increases with her success.
"She came into this season more prepared, more determined to contribute at a higher level," he said. "She has just been building. She did a great job the other night, and probably had one of her best meets of the season. Her importance has increased, and you've already begun to see her later and later in our line-ups. She's much more dependable this year in terms of consistency."
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No. 6 Utah vs. No. 23 Washington
Friday, 6 p.m. MDT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
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