Utah gymnastics: Red Rocks score a season-high 197.825 to beat Arizona
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah co-head coach Greg Marsden was recognized before Friday's meet against Arizona for earning his 1,000th win on the road last weekend. The coach hasn't loved all the attention that has been focused on him. But by the end of the meet, the only thing Marsden had to complain about were the “ugly” T-shirts his gymnasts sported that featured the coach’s face and his famous mustache.
All fun aside, Marsden was pleased with his fourth-ranked team’s season-best score of 197.825 to No. 13 Arizona’s 194.425. Most of all, he was happy that for a second-straight week his gymnasts recovered well after watching a teammate fall.
Utah had two falls Friday against Arizona, one from Kailah Delaney in the fifth spot on beam and the other from Mary Beth Lofgren to lead off floor.
“Crazy things happen and you just have to be ready for them and move forward,” said Marsden. “The same thing happened last week and the next five hit.”
Prior to her fall, Delaney hadn’t missed in 26 routines. Her fall didn’t hurt Utah, as freshman Baely Rowe recorded a solid 9.775 to start off beam, while four other Red Rocks followed suit.
Lofgren highlighted the beam set with a career-best and event-winning score of 9.925, but she couldn’t match the effort on floor. Her fall was Utah’s first of the season on the event, where the team ranks third nationally. But again, the fall didn’t hurt the Red Rocks as they knocked out a season-high 49.725. The floor score is also one of the best in the country by any team this year.
“Mary Beth, in the beginning went down, which was weird and uncharacteristic,” said Becky Tutka. ”It motivated us to all do our best and I think that’s why we had our best floor set.”
Tutka recorded a 9.95 on floor and celebrated to the cheers of thousands of fans wearing "Becky" hair bows that were handed out before the meet. Her score was matched by teammates Tory Wilson and Nansy Damianova, but the event win went to Georgia Dabritz at 9.975.
Dabritz also grabbed the win on the uneven bars with a 9.975. She leads the country on bars, and is undefeated on the apparatus this season. Dabritz also notched a 9.925 on vault. Tutka kicked off the meet with a career-best 9.9 on vault and Wilson hit for 9.975 to win the event.
“We kind of had a different energy than we normally have,” said Dabritz, who admitted it was emotional to see Marsden honored before the meet.
Wilson earned the all-around win with a season-high 39.6.
“Tonight was really exciting — as always the crowd adds the extra element that keeps us going," said Wilson.
Wilson admitted that it was nice for Utah to not have to count a fall on beam for a second-straight week after failing to do so the prior two meets. It was also the second-straight week Utah put together a solid all-around meet with no falls counted on any event.
“We are getting the ball rolling in the direction we wanted,” said Wilson.
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