Utah triumphs over BYU, North Carolina State in gymnastics tri-meet

By Jason Nowa

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, March 1 2013 10:25 p.m. MST

Utah's Breanna Hughes eyes the high bar as BYU, Utah and North Carolina State compete Friday, March 1, 2013.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

The University of Utah Red Rocks gymnastics team was victorious on the road in its tri-meet Friday night against Brigham Young University and the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the Marriott Center in Provo.

Utah finished in first place with 197.125, while BYU came in second with 195.500 and North Carolina State finished third with 194.675. The Red Rocks kept their national ranking of eighth intact.

“It was a good effort, tough play at the start, but we got it going in vault and floor, which have been our strongest events all year,” Red Rocks co-coach Greg Marsden said as his team moved to 9-1-1 overall and 4-1-1 within the Pac-12. “We did a good job on bars, too.”

Georgia Dabritz and Nansy Damianova finished with strong bar events with scores of 9.900 and 9.875, respectively.

“In the past, we had been unstable on bars, but we pulled it out tonight,” Tory Wilson said about the bar event.

Utah swept the four individual events. Wilson was the leader in the vault competition with a 9.950. Wilson has not lost a vault competition this season. Wilson also led in the beam event with a score of 9.875. In the bars event, Dabritz led with a 9.900. On the floor, Becky Tutka led with a 9.925. Wilson led all-round with a 39.450.

“We came out really excited, and that helped boost our confidence,” Wilson said. “We tried to get our hits and compete and focus on each event individually.”

The Red Rocks never seemed in danger of losing the tri-meet Friday night as their consistency helped lead the way. They led after two rounds, 98.375 to BYU’s 98.025.

After three rounds, the Red Rocks led with 147.850, and they also had three of their gymnasts leading in individual categories of vault, beam and floor, respectively.

“Thought we came out very aggressive, and we really have to be together as a team,” Marsden said about competing on the road in a hostile environment.

The Red Rocks' best scoring event came with the vault as they scored a 49.475, led by Wilson.

The best event for BYU (8-7) was a tie on the bars and the floor as it scored a 49.025 for both.

The best event for North Carolina State (10-7-1) was the floor as it finished with a 48.975. The Wolfpacks’ best all-around score came through Michaela Woodford’s 39.000, which was good for the third best overall score on the night. The Wolfpack ended with three of the top six all-around individual scores, yet finished in third place.

Raquel Willman of BYU came in second all-around with a 39.050. Dabritz was the other Red Rock in the top six of all-around scores.

Utah has two more meets before the Pac-12 tournament begins later this month, with its next meet next Saturday at Georgia.

To continue moving forward in the rankings, Wilson said, “We need to keep doing what we’re doing. Today it showed.”

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