Utah Utes gymnastics: Lia Del Priore scores a perfect 10 on floor
SALT LAKE CITY — Lia Del Priore wanted to break into Utah's deep floor lineup so badly, the junior might have been sabotaging herself.
"With Lia, she was wanting it so much and trying so hard, and because of that, I think she was making mistakes," said Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden after Del Priore scored the Utes' first 10 on floor since 2005 in Utah's 197.300-197.075 win over Stanford Saturday night. "What happened that's helped her is when Corrie (Lothrop) went down, she's in the lineup — good or bad. And she's built confidence each time she's been out there. Now she has a belief in herself and she's not trying quite so hard."
Del Priore earned her first career 10 on the same night she set a new career high on vault — a 9.90 — in front of 13,357 fans at the Huntsman Center.
"I'm still in shock about it," Del Priore said with a grin. "I still don't think it actually happened."
She didn't see the scoreboard before her team surrounded her in celebration.
"I was in complete shock," she said.
Del Priore said the floor routine felt great, but she never expected perfect marks.
"I knew I nailed every pass," she said. "I've worked really hard, sharpening everything. ... I think it just finally clicked."
Some of Del Priore's shock stemmed from the fact that her season high on the floor was a 9.775. Marsden said he was "a little" surprised, but pointed out she competed with complete confidence in Saturday's televised meet.
"She really took her performance up to a different level tonight," he said. "Her presentation is very good. But a lot of times, she kind of beats herself up worrying about being in the lineup or being out. ... She's worked so hard to put herself in that position. It was thrilling for all of us." Del Priore spent last season performing exhibition routines on floor and vault.
"Last year we had a really deep team," she said. "Any of us could have been in that lineup. ... It just wasn't my time last year."
She said being a regular in the rotation has given her peace of mind.
"It's awesome," she said of competing each week on floor. "To finally get my spot, and earn my spot every week, is awesome. We thoroughly enjoy (floor)."
Teammate Nansy Damianova earned a 9.925 on floor, but said she thought she could have done better.
"I was a little bit surprised," she said. "I know I've done better, but it was a great night for everyone. ... (Del Priore's routine) was beautiful. It was her best routine. It's amazing to watch Lia."
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